video vault

by Mark Burger

DVD Pick of the week: Trouble In Mind

(Shout! Factory)

One of writer/director Alan Rudolph’s most offbeat, and most satisfying, films comes to special-edition DVD ($19.97 retail), which includes a retrospective documentary featuring Rudolph and most of the film’s principals.

The setting is the aptly named Rain City, beautifully photographed by Toyomichi Kurita, a haven for lost souls who have wound up in this urban conglomeration — some to escape trouble, others to make trouble and those few unlucky enough to find trouble. Everyone’s got a past, but not everyone’s got a future.

As an embittered ex-cop and ex-con who can’t quite suppress his own decency, Kris Kristofferson heads a stellar ensemble including Genevieve Bujold, Lori Singer, Keith Carradine (sporting a memorable punk hairdo), Joe Morton and, in a slyly camp performance, the inimitable Divine (no drag this time) as the local godfather.

This moody, bluesy film noir, with its vaguely futuristic overtones, never found its audience when released 25 years ago yet earned a minor cult and critical following. It’s an oddly appealing, uniquely personal vision, loaded with style and not a little selfindulgence. Trouble in Mind is one of a kind. Rated R.

ALSO Available THE BOB HOPE COLLECTION (Shout!Factory): A five-film collection ($29.98 retail) ofscreen comedies showcasing one of the world’smost popular entertainers, Bob Hope (1903-2003): Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour joinBob in Road to Rio (1947), which earned an Oscarnomination for Best Musical Score; Lamour, PeterLorre and Lon Chaney Jr. co-star in My FavoriteBrunette (also ’47); The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)co-stars Lloyd Nolan, Marilyn Maxwell and JaneDarwell; Road to Bali (1952) reunites Hope withCrosby and Lamour; and 1955’s show-biz biographyThe Seven Little Foys stars Hope as the legendaryvaudevillian Eddie Foy and earned an Oscarnomination for Best Story & Screenplay. Shout!Factory is also releasing The Lemon Drop Kid as asingle DVD ($9.98 retail). CHARLIE ST. CLOUD (Universal StudiosHome Entertainment): Something was verylost in the translation in this adaptation of BenSherwood’s novel The Death of Life of CharlieSt. Cloud, a weird and weak-kneed tearjerkerstarring Zac Efron in the title role, a young sailorstill grieving the loss of his younger brother(newcomer Charlie Tahan), who neverthelessshows up periodically to play catch. AmandaCrew plays Charlie’s obligatory love interest,while Kim Basinger and Ray Liotta are wastedin superfluous roles. Efron tries hard and thereare a few ethereal twists, but it doesn’t work.Sherwood was also an executive producer.Rated PG-13. COOPERS’ CHRISTMAS (Anchor BayEntertainment): “The Daily Show” veteransJason Jones and Samantha Bee play Mom andDad in this raunchy, sometimes uproarious holidayfarce about a dysfunctional clan’s ChristmasDay 1985 — as seen through the lens of thenew camcorder. Jones and Mike Beaver (whoplays Uncle Nick) also scripted. “DRAGNET 1969”: SEASON THREE(Shout! Factory): Jack Webb is back as JoeFriday, enforcing law and order on the streetsof LA in all 26 episodes from the 1968-’69 seasonof the prime-time NBC-TV police series, firstcreated by Webb for radio and then adaptedfor TV in the 1950s. This was its third incarnation,and “Dragnet” remains one of the quintessentialTV cop shows. This four-DVD boxed setretails for $34.93. “ELLERY QUEEN MYSTERIES”: THECOMPLETE SERIES (E1 Entertainment): JimHutton stars as the brilliant mystery writer whoassists his police-inspector father (David Wayne)solve the toughest crimes in 1930s New York,in all 22 episodes from the 1975-’76 (and only)season of the prime-time NBC-TV mysteryseries, based on the classic character created byFrederic Dannay and Manfred Lee, and adaptedfor television by the Richard Levinson/WilliamLink duo. Series guest stars included DonAmeche, Vincent Price, Stuart Whitman, GeorgeBurns, Larry Hagman, Robert Loggia, RoddyMcDowall, Cesar Romero, Guy Lombardo (ashimself), and semi-regular John Hillerman. Thissix-DVD boxed set retails for $59.98. “THE FACTS OF LIFE”: THE COMPLETEFIFTH SEASON (Shout! Factory): All 24 episodesfrom the 1983-’84 season of the popular,award-winning prime-time NBC-TV situationcomedy series that takes place at a tony boardingschool for girls, where house mother Mrs.Garrett (Charlotte Rae) keeps an eye on fourstudents (Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, NancyMcKeon and Mindy Cohn). For a time, this wasthe longest-running sitcom in the network’s history.The four-DVD boxed set retails for $39.97. “GREAT DETECTIVES ANTHOLOGY”(A&E Home Entertainment): A 12-DVD boxedset ($149.99 retail) showcasing popular smallscreensleuths in 18 classic mysteries, originallybroadcast on the BBC: David Suchet as AgathaChristie’s “Hercule Poirot,” Joan Hickson asChristie’s “Miss Marple,” and Peter Cushing asArthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes.” “HOARDERS”: SEASON TWO, PART ONE(A&E Home Entertainment): The first seven episodesfrom 2009-‘10 season of the popular A&Ereality series about people trying to overcomecompulsive hoarding. This two-DVD special editionretails for $19.95. “MAD ABOUT YOU”: SEASON FIVE(Shout! Factory): All 24 episodes from the 1996-’97 of the award-winning, prime-time NBC-TVsituation comedy starring Paul Reiser (alsoco-creator and executive producer) and HelenHunt as a Manhattan couple. Six Emmy nominations,including Outstanding Comedy Series,Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series andOutstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series(Sid Caesar), with wins for Outstanding LeadActress in a Comedy Series (Hunt would winfour in a row) and Outstanding Guest Actor andActress in a Comedy Series (Mel Brooks andCarol Burnett). This boxed set retails for $29.93. “MARCUS WELBY, MD”: SEASON TWO(Shout! Factory): The doctor is in, as Robert Youngreturns in the title role, in all 24 episodes from the1970-’71 season of the popular prime-time ABCTVmedical drama, co-starring James Brolin as hisyoung assistant and Elena Verdugo as his faithfulreceptionist. Guest stars include Cloris Leachman,Ricardo Montalban, Suzanne Pleshette, GaryMerrill, William Schallert and Lee Purcell. FiveEmmy nominations including Outstanding LeadActor in a Drama Series (Young), OutstandingSupporting Actor in a Drama Series (Brolin),Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama(Verdugo) and Outstanding Drama Series. This six-DVD boxed set retails for $49.97. A NANNY FOR CHRISTMAS (Anchor BayEntertainment): That would be EmmanuelleVaugier, as an unemployed advertising executivewho winds up taking care of agency head CynthiaGibb’s children… and romancing one of her executives(Richard Ruccolo). Corny yuletide romanticcomedy is easy to take and far less precious than itcould have been. Also on hand: Dean Cain, MarlaMaples and Barry Barnholtz. NANNY McPHEE RETURNS (UniversalStudios Home Entertainment): EmmaThompson reprises her title role and again pensthe script for this mild follow-up to the 2005comedy based on Christianna Brand’s best-sellingseries of children’s books. Despite a supportingcast that includes Maggie Smith, MaggieGyllenhaal, Rhys Ifans, Ralph Fiennes and EwanMcGregor, once was enough. Rated PG. “RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEY” (A&EHome Entertainment): A 14-DVD boxed set($99.95 retail) featuring all 42 episodes from thelong-running (1978-’92), much-beloved Britishcourtroom drama, adapted by John Mortimerfrom his award-winning series of mystery novels,starring the unforgettable Leo McKern as HoraceRumpole, an eccentric London barrister who barrelsand blusters his way through the loopholesof the law, achieving justice on his own terms.Emmy-nominated as Outstanding Limited Seriesin 1981 and Outstanding Miniseries in ’88. “SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS WITHLEWIS BLACK” (A&E Home Entertainment):The award-winning comedian takes aim atthe holiday season in this special-edition DVD($19.95 retail) featuring appearances by suchfellow funny folk as Craig Ferguson, David AlanGrier, Bob Saget and Joy Behar. “THE WORLD AT WAR” (A&E HomeEntertainment): The Blu-ray debut ($149.95retail) of all 26 episodes from the award-winningThames Television documentary series,originally broadcast in 1973-’74, which offereda comprehensive history of World War II, narratedby no less than Laurence Olivier. Specialfeatures include retrospective documentariesand more