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article imageReview: New on DVD for April 2 Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Apr 1, 2013 in Entertainment
This week’s releases include a stylish English action thriller; an Emmy-nominated, top-notch political comedy; and a time-bending battle against bizarre creatures.
Hello, Dolly! (Blu-ray)
Dolly Levi (Barbara Streisand), a New York matchmaker, falls in love with a wealthy bachelor from Yonkers named Horace (Walter Matthau).
Special features include: “Directing Dolly: Gene Kelly Remembered”; and 1969 featurette. (Fox Home Entertainment)
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Anchor Bay Entertainment
John Dies at the End (Blu-ray)
Soy Sauce is a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. Users drift across time and dimensions, but some who come back are no longer humans; suddenly, a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is David (Chase Williamson) and John (Rob Mayes), a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity? No. No, they can't.
David Wong’s book of the same name is an even crazier adventure of drug-induced battles against monsters and parallel universe beings. It’s not surprising much of what occurs in the novel could not be included in the film, but writer/director Don Coscarelli does an excellent job in adapting the unusual story. While some of the larger concepts and visuals could not be brought to the screen (though it would have been awesome to see a representation of the unnerving, all-encompassing paintings), he strings together the most significant events to create a relatively coherent narrative. The meat monster is disturbingly funny and the talking hot dog is surprisingly less strange than it sounds. The casting of little known actors in the lead roles makes it easier to follow David and John down the rabbit hole, while Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown provide the film with some understated star cred.
Special features include: commentary by director Don Coscarelli, producer Brad Baruh, and actors Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes; deleted scenes; a making-of featurette; “Creature Crops: The Effects of Soy Sauce”; casting sessions; Fangoria Interview with Paul Giamatti; books by David Wong; and trailers. (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
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Entertainment One
The Sweeney (DVD)
Sometimes you have to act like a criminal to catch a criminal. Tearing up the streets of London, D.I. Jack Regan (Ray Winstone) and his partner George Carter (Ben Drew) from the Flying Squad – a.k.a. the Sweeney – have their way of operating, and when an old enemy makes a re-appearance on the London crime scene, they will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Often, movies that centre around special police units are also about internal corruption. But outside of a few minor transgressions to pay a valuable informant, the Flying Squad is clean. Instead, it's about the Sweeney continuing to do what needs to be done to catch the bad guy in spite of Internal Affairs snooping around. By any means necessary generally includes busting in on the criminals with bats and pick axe handles during a robbery, and beating them into submission so they can be arrested without civilian casualties. Sometimes this also involves brilliant car chases, filmed in coordination with BBC car enthusiast series Top Gear. This movie presents just the right balance of cop drama and action to remain interesting all the way through.
Special features include: commentary by director Nick Love and producers; behind-the-scenes featurette; “Preparing The Sweeney”; “Shooting in Trafalgar Square”; “The New Regan and Carter”; “On the Shooting Range”; “Top Gear and the Caravan Park”; animated storyboards of Trafalgar Square and the Caravan Park. (Entertainment One)
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HBO Home Entertainment
Veep: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Copy)
Former Senator Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) was a charismatic leader and rising star in her party with her eye on the White House – then she became Vice President. The series follows the whirlwind day-to-day existence of Vice President Meyer as she puts out political fires, juggles a busy public schedule and demanding private life, and defends the president’s interests, even as she tries to improve her dysfunctional relationship with the chief executive.
Though the words are not recorded anywhere, this series to some extent is a watered down version of what life would have been like if Governor Sarah Palin had become vice president. And it's hilarious. When Selina is not putting her own foot in her mouth, one of her staff members is erring on her behalf. It seems they're always performing damage control. Visits from the president's lackey Jonah (Timothy Simons) never bring good news, though it usually results in the exchange of amusing barbs. As Selina's personal assistant, Tony Hale (Arrested Development) is consistently funny, bending to her every whim and attending to her every need. In short, HBO has done it again and it doesn’t look like the laughs are stopping any time soon.
Special features include: 12 commentaries with cast and crew; deleted scenes and outtakes; a making-of featurette; “VEEP: Misspoke”; and “VEEP: Obesity.” (HBO Home Entertainment)
More about John Dies at the End, veep, The Sweeney, Hello Dolly, BluRay
 
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