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DVD EXTRA: FEB 13, 2003

More movies out this week: Shannon J. Harvey flicks through the latest releases on DVD and VHS; Star Trek: The Next Generation; Twin Peaks, Dirty Deeds, Life Or Something Like It, Ghost World, and Powerpuff Girls. (For fuller reviews of selected leading titles, please see our DVD menu.)

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, Season 6 Box Set: 
DVD rental and retail, out now, Paramount. 
With possibly the last Next Generation movie in cinemas right now, I was getting all misty-eyed at the thought of never seeing Captain Picard and Co. open a can of whop-ass in outer space again. Hoorah for the release of the box set DVDs! They're released one season at a time, and this sixth season set is one of the better in their seven-season history. It features classic episodes like Time's Arrow (some juicy conundrums for time-travel geeks), the Sherlock Holmes style Ship in a Bottle, and the hilarious Westworld inspired A Fistful of Datas. Twenty-six episodes over six discs plus a seventh disc full of extra features. Make it so!

TWIN PEAKS - SEASON 1 (M)
DVD rental, February 10, Paramount
At long last! Made in 1990 and held up in studio red tape for the past decade, the release of David Lynch's ground-breaking, television-changing series has been a long time coming to DVD. Here's welcoming the entire first season (all 411 minutes of it!), as we go deep into America's Pacific Northwest logging town of Twin Peaks, where beautiful young Laura Palmer's naked body has washed up (infamously) "wrapped in plastic". Enter quirky FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), a man who talks to his tape recorder like it's a person and solves crimes with the help of his dreams. Gradually, Cooper peels back the seemingly picture-perfect town as a village of lies, secrets, and off-kilter characters. But he's just getting warmed up in Season 1, and this immaculate 4-disc box set includes individual episode analysis by the directors, an introduction to Lynch, in-depth interviews with the cast and crew, Log Lady introductions to episodes, script notes and a guide to the unseen Twin Peaks. Suitably strange extras for one wildly weird series. It's like a soap opera on Mescalin, so if you've never discovered what all the fuss was about, then enter the creepy world of Twin Peaks now. If you have, re-live it again.

DIRTY DEEDS (MA)
VHS and DVD rental, February 12, Columbia Tri Star
If you enjoyed Bryan Brown in the Aussie crime caper Two Hands, then check him out in this inferior yet still fun romp. He laps it up as a big shot poker machine profiteer who's up to some dirty deeds indeed, paying off a corrupt cop (Sam Neill) and messing about with a mistress (Kestie Morassi). Things get even dirtier when gentle giant Tony (John Goodman) and his trigger-happy sidekick (Felix Williamson) arrive from Chicago to muscle in on the scam. Toni Collette steals the show as Shazza, Brown's lime green wearing, pavlova making, big haired wife, and Sydney in the '60s is re-created with loving care - the XXXX beers, the dunny can collectors, the vintage cars and retro fashions. The DVD package has more extras than you can poke a dirty deed at, like several full-length commentaries, a 30-minute documentary, and several tips for something called “pizza.” Enjoy this seedy slice of life.

LIFE OR SOMETHING LIKE IT (M)
VHS and DVD rental, February 12, 20th Century Fox.
This tacky melodrama stars hot stuff Angelina Jolie as a television reporter who leads a hedonistic life; gorgeous apartment, superstar boyfriend, and a shot at a big network job. When a homeless street seer (Tony Shalhoub) tells her she will die in one week, it instigates a sappy re-examination of her priorities, like rekindling a romance with a cameraman (Edward Burns) – as if dating a cameraman is some kind of charity! It's straight-to-video stuff but it is nice to watch for Jolie - just turn the sound down. Note the way she resembles Marilyn Monroe here, all golden locks and heaving bosums the size of her ego.

GHOST WORLD (M)
VHS and DVD rental, February 14, Paramount
One of just two films this critic gave five stars to last year, Ghost World is a beautifully rendered tale of fear and loathing in Los Angeles. Based on Daniel Clowes adult comic of the same name and directed by Terry Zwigoff (Crumb), it's the kind of film that might have been made if American Beauty had continued with Thora Birch's character going out into the world, as she intended. Here she's recent high school grad Enid, a geek goddess with few ambitions other than wandering through town with her equally alienated gal-pal Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) observing life, despising the norms of suburbia and ridiculing conformists. When Enid forms an ambiguous bond
with 40-something record collector Seymour (Steve Buscemi), her cynicism dissolves as slowly as her friendship with Becky. Nominated for best adapted screenplay at the 2002 Oscars, Ghost World is a touching portrait of growing up in a world we don't understand and can't relate to. Cool, comical, and heartbreaking, it's a must-see for anyone who has ever felt different. Haven't we all?

POWERPUFF GIRLS (PG)
VHS and DVD rental and retail, February 12, Warner Bros
Move over Rugrats, Pokemon and Puff Daddy - it's Powerpuff time! Based on the popular series, this flashy, Pokemon-meets Astro Boy style cartoon might give adults a head-ache, but which adult would be watching such kids stuff? We've all been told girls are made of sugar, spice and everything nice but no one actually believes it, right? Wrong. Professor Utonium (Tom Kane) is using these ingredients to make the perfect girl. But when his monkey lab assistant Jojo monkeys around and adds Chemical X to the mix, he ends up with super-powered triplets Blossom (Cathy Cavadini), Bubbles (Tara Strong) and Buttercup (Elizabeth Daily). Unable to control their powers and exiled from Townsville because they're different, the girls are tricked into helping the evil monkey take over the world. Will they learn to use their superhuman strength, infra-red vision and flying ability? Can they join puff forces and overthrow an army of super-monkeys? You betcha!

Published February 13, 2003

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Star Trek: The Next Generation - Buy it here


Twin Peaks - Buy it here


Ghost World


Dirty Deeds - FULL DVD Review Buy it here


Life Or Something Like It


Powerpuff Girls - Buy it here







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