Two television series and a hit movie are in this week's DVD review column.
CSI: The Seventh Season
CBS clearly wanted to replicate the success of "Law and Order" over at NBC by spinning off a successful show into multiple editions with its cloning of "CSI."
In my book, the original is still the best and there are plenty of pluses in the 17 and half hours of this DVD collection.
I'll take the quiet characterization of William Peterson over the histrionics of David Caruso at "CSI: Miami" any day of the week.
Besides the continued growth of the characters, the season featured two compelling continuing stories a mini-series featuring Liev Schreiber as a forensic expert with a past and the hunt for a serial killer dubbed "the Miniature Killer."
Although this show could easily fall into a formula, it manages not to by presenting new sides of its characters.
For me, watching this show on DVD is like munching on salted peanuts: one viewing leads to another.
For more information, lot onto www.paramount.com/homeentertainment.
Twin Peaks: Definitive Gold Box Edition
Ladies and gentlemen, I tried -- mightily I tried. Despite my best efforts I just could not get into what is considered to be one of the best cult television shows ever produced, "Twin Peaks."
When "Twin Peaks" was first on the air in 1990 and 1991, I managed somehow to miss all but one episode and it, of course, did not make any sense to me.
The show created by David Lynch and Mark Frost uses the format of a soap opera to tell its story of an FBI agent's efforts to uncover the killer of high school student Laura Palmer in the remote logging community of Twin Peaks, Washington. Although captivated by the rural feel and the small town virtues, Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) soon discovers not only a high level of eccentricity in the town, but more importantly many unexplained supernatural phenomena.
At times switching between a drama and a comedy, I had trouble with the glacial pacing of the show, which is in line with its soap opera influences. "Twin Peaks" was a show presented with no wrap-ups at the beginning, so if you missed a previous installment, you were on your own. Heaven help you if you were a newcomer and trying to figure everything out.
Lynch has had a long and fairly successful career as a feature film director, although I find much of his work to be self-consciously precious -- the kind of film loved by film snobs. "Twin Peaks" has those tendencies of being just too odd for its own good.
This new edition is the one to get for the "Twin Peaks" fan. Loaded with extras, it features a documentary on the show as well as a new conversation between Lynch and several of his cast members.
For more information, go to www.greetingfromtwinpeaks.com.
I really loved "The Forty-Year-Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up" and was prepared to be knocked over by the latest comedy from the Judd Apatow school of filmmaking.
Alas, I wasn't. That's not to say there isn't some funny stuff in this shaggy dog tale of three misfit teens trying to score liquor and girls on one fateful night their senior year, because there is.
Seth (Jonah Hill) is convinced that if he and his pal Evan (Michael Cera) can manage to bring alcohol to a cool kids party, they can find a drunken girl willing to sleep with them. The only problem is they need someone with a fake ID and that means reluctantly involving super-nerd Fogell, whose new card lists his name only as "McLovin."
The film's problem is it spends too much time on a sub-plot involving two very incompetent cops played by Seth Rogen and Bill Hader. These scenes seem to drag along forever and slow down the pace of the film.
Now be aware the version I reviewed is unrated. The R-rated theatrical version had more bad language than a Kevin Smith film. This is not a comedy for everyone.
There is a separate disc of extras, some of which are sort of funny, but many are just superfluous. And one or two are quite dirty.
You've been warned.
For more information, log onto www.sonypictures.com.