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by Mark Burger

video vault

DVD PICK OF THE WEEKJOHN CARPENTER: MASTEROF FEAR COLLECTION (UniversalStudios Home Entertainment):Universal gets the jump on theHalloween season with a four-filmboxed set devoted to the works offilmmaker John Carpenter, whose1978 classic Halloween is one ofthe touchstones of the horror genre— and he continued to make good,scary movies throughout the 1980sand ’90s.This collection includes the superb1982 version of The Thing (****),one of the few remakes to surpassthe original film and anchored bya great ensemble cast headed byKurt Russell, to say nothing of RobBottin’s amazing special effects;Donald Pleasence heads the castof 1987’s imaginative, if somewhatinscrutable, sci-fi fantasy Prince ofDarkness (***); Roddy Piper (the oneand only) and Keith David star inthe subversive, semi-satirical sci-fithriller They Live (***); and the 1995remake of Village of the Damned(***), although not quite as good asthe original is still a worthy updating,featuring Christopher Reeve (inthe last role before his tragic ridingaccident), Kirstie Alley and LindaKozlowski.For chills and suspense thisHalloween, the “John Carpenter:Master of Fear Collection” ($19.98retail) delivers both in spades — nonemore so than The Thing. All fourfilms are rated R.ALSO ON DVD17 AGAIN (Warner HomeVideo): A slight, trite riff on It’s aWonderful Life and Mr. Destiny, withMatthew Perry as a divorced dad whowishes he could be a teenager again.Presto — he becomes Zac Efron. Theexpected complications ensue… forthose who care. Rated PG-13. *’½BARBIE AND THE THREEMUSKETEERS (Universal StudiosHome Entertainment): AlexandreDumas could not have foreseenBarbie becoming the centerpiece ofhis classic adventure story, a newanimated feature ($19.98 retail) thatsees the famous fashion doll teamingup with three friends to save Parisfrom an insidious plot to overthrowthe throne.THE BATMAN DOUBLE FEATURE(DC Comics/Warner Home Video):A twin bill of animated features($14.97 retail) based on the perenniallypopular DC Comics character:The Batman/Superman Movie (1998)features the voices of Tim Daly asSuperman, Kevin Conroy as Batman,Dana Delany as Lois Lane, ClancyBrown as Lex Luthor and MarkHamill as the Joker; The Batman vs.Dracula (2005) features the voices ofRino Romano as Batman and PeterStormare as the Count.BIONICLE: THE LEGENDREBORN (Universal Studios HomeEntertainment): “Star Trek” veteransMichael Dorn and Armin Shimermanlend their voices to this animated science-fiction adventure feature ($19.98retail) based on the popular series ofLEGO children’s toys.BRING IT ON: FIGHT TO THEFINISH (Universal Studios HomeEntertainment): The fifth (!) in thecheerleading franchise sees ChristinaMilian as the new girl in school wholeads her team to the championship.Tired and predictable in equal measure.Universal is also releasing theBring It On All-Star Pack ($39.98retail), which includes all five films.Rated PG-13. *“BROTHERS & SISTERS”: THECOMPLETE THIRD SEASON (WaltDisney Studios Home Entertainment):Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths, CalistaFlockhart, Rob Lowe and Ron Rifkinhead a star-studded ensemble castin all 24 episodes from the 2008-’09season of the prime-time ABCTVdrama about the relationshipswithin a large California family.Field earned an Emmy nominationas Outstanding Lead Actress in aDrama Series. This boxed set retailsfor $59.99.HANNAH MONTANA THEMOVIE (Walt Disney Studios HomeEntertainment): Miley Cyrus bringsher hit Disney Channel series to thebig screen in this award-winning(Teen Choice and MTV MovieAward), feature-length comedy inwhich she takes a breather from showbusiness by visiting the family farmin Tennessee. Available as a singlediscDVD ($29.99 retail), a two-DVDspecial edition ($39.99 retail), or athree-disc Blu-ray combo ($44.99retail). Rated G.“THE MENTALIST”: THECOMPLETE FIRST SEASON (WarnerHome Video): Simon Baker earnedan Emmy nomination as OutstandingLead Actor in a Drama Series for hisperformance as a celebrity psychicwho teams with the police to solvecrimes after his family is slain by aserial killer, in all 23 episodes fromthe 2008-’09 season of the top-rated,prime-time CBS-TV crime drama.This six-DVD boxed set retails for$59.98.MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE:MICKEY’S ADVENTURES INWONDERLAND (Walt Disney StudiosHome Entertainment): The titletells all in this feature-length cartoon($26.99 retail), based on LewisCarroll’s classic Alice in Wonderlandand spun off from the popular DisneyChannel series, with Mickey Mouseand other favorite Disney characters.NFL: HISTORY OF THE SANDIEGO CHARGERS (NFL Films/Warner Home Video): It has neverwon a Super Bowl, but this two-discboxed set ($26.95 retail) explores the50-year history of the San Diego’sfootball franchise whose star playershave included Dan Fouts, LanceAlworth, Kellen Winslow, CharlieJoiner and Ernie Ladd.PHANTASM II (UniversalStudios Home Entertainment): DonCoscarelli’s 1988 sequel to his 1979cult smash makes its long-awaitedDVD debut. Reggie Bannister andAngus Scrimm (as the malevolentTall Man) reprise their roles, withJames LeGros (stepping in for A.Michael Baldwin), Paula Irvine,Samantha Phillips and Kenneth Tigaralso battling those lethal metallicspheres. Good fun for the Phantasmfaithful. Rated R. ***“SONNY WITH A CHANCE:SONNY’S BIG BREAK” (Walt DisneyStudios Entertainment): A compilationof four episodes ($19.99 retail) ofthe top-rated Disney Channel familysitcom series starring Demi Lovato asa Midwestern teenager who comes toLos Angeles to join a sketch comedyshow called “So Random!”“THE SUITE LIFE ON DECK:ANCHORS AWAY!” (Walt DisneyStudios Home Entertainment): Aselection of four episodes ($19.99retail) from the popular DisneyChannel series, spun off from “TheSuite Life of Zack & Cody,” withCole and Dylan Sprouse (Cody andZack, respectively) as twins who tendto make mischief wherever they go— including aboard a semester-at-seascholastic program aboard a cruiseship.“SUPER FRIENDS”: THE LOSTEPISODES (DC Comics/WarnerHome Video): A selection of 24 rareepisodes from the early ’80s’ revivalof the animated “Super Friends”Saturday-morning series (basedon DC Comics’ “Justice League ofAmerica”), featuring such favoritesuperheroes as Superman, Batman,Wonder Woman, Aquaman and theWonder Twins. This two-DVD boxedset retails for $26.99.“SUPERNATURAL”: THECOMPLETE FOURTH SEASON(Warner Home Video): Jensen Acklesand Jared Padelecki return as thebrothers Winchester, doing battlewith the forces of evil in all 22 episodesfrom the 2008-’09 season of thepopular, prime-time CW TelevisionNetwork series. This boxed set retailsfor $55.98 (DVD) and $79.98 (Bluray).THE TIGGER MOVIE (Walt DisneyStudios Home Entertainment): It’s ayear early, but this is the 10th-anniversaryspecial edition ($29.99 retail)of the 2000 animated feature basedon the classic characters from AAMilne’s best-selling series of children’sbooks. Narrated by John Hurt.Not bad, but hardly in a league withDisney’s finest. Rated G. **“TWO AND A HALF MEN”: THECOMPLETE SIXTH SEASON (WarnerHome Video): Charlie Sheen (Emmynominee as Outstanding Lead Actorin a Comedy Series), Jon Cryer(Emmy winner as OutstandingSupporting Actor in a ComedySeries) and Angus T. Jones are backin all 24 episodes from the 2008-’09season of the top-rated, prime-timeCBS-TV sitcom about two brothersand one brother’s son who sharea beachfront house in California.This four-DVD boxed set retails for$44.98.To comment on this story, sendyour e-mail to:marksburger@yahoo.comMark Burger can be heardFriday mornings on the “TwoGuys Named Chris” radio showon Rock-92.Copyright 2009, Mark Burger !

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