‘Dick and Jane’ DVD slaps on more slapstick

  • By David Germain / Associated Press
  • Monday, April 10, 2006 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Selected home-video releases:

“Fun With Dick and Jane” – In the 1970s, Jane Fonda and George Segal became the upper middle-class suburban equivalent of Bonnie and Clyde, going on a robbery spree to maintain their cozy lifestyle after financial hard times hit.

Thirty years later, it’s Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni as the bandits in a remake that revs up the physical-comedy antics but loses much of the potency that made the original so easy for audiences to relate to. Carrey and Leoni are a husband and wife hurled into poverty after his big promotion turns sour when the corporation he works for collapses and he loses his job.

The DVD has six deleted or extended sequences, including a long, slapstick-filled segment of Carrey’s smackdown with an elderly security guard (James Whitmore). Director Dean Parisot and screenwriters Judd Apatow and Nicholas Stoller also provide commentary. $28.95. (Sony)

“Wolf Creek” – Better than your average slice-and-dice horror flick is this grisly tale set in the vast emptiness of Australia, where three pals (Nathan Phillips, Cassandra Magrath and Kestie Morassi) run into bloody hell at the hands of a madman (John Jarratt) during a hike to a meteor site on a road trip.

In the tradition of many slasher and horror flicks, the movie carries the tag line “based on a true story,” in this case the deeds of a killer who preyed on backpackers in Australia.

The movie is available in the R-rated theatrical version or a grislier unrated edition that adds five minutes of footage. Magrath and Morassi join first-time writer-director Greg McLean for commentary, and the DVD has a deleted scene and a making-of feature. $29.95. (Genius)

“An Unfinished Life” – On paper, this domestic drama of tragedy, grief, blame and reconciliation should have been a contender, starring Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez and Morgan Freeman and directed by Lasse Hallstrom (“The Cider House Rules”).

The long-delayed film, one of many leftovers caught in the crossfire during Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s bickering departure from Disney-owned Miramax, wound up dumped in theaters and generally forgotten last year.

Redford stars as a reclusive rancher reluctantly reunited with the daughter-in-law (Lopez) he blames for his son’s death.

Hallstrom offers DVD commentary, and the disc has a making-of segment and a feature on training the bear used in the film. $29.99. (Miramax)

“Mission: Impossible” – With Tom Cruise’s third impossible mission debuting in theaters May 5, a new DVD edition arrives to mark the 10th anniversary of his first adventure as super-agent Ethan Hunt.

Directed by Brian De Palma and based on the television series about an ace team of operatives who are masters of disguise and deception, “Mission: Impossible” puts Cruise on the run after his character is framed in the deaths of his team.

The new DVD edition gathers a batch of features examining stunts, characters and the 40-year-plus legacy of the franchise. And of course, the disc has a teaser trailer promoting “Mission: Impossible III. $19.99. (Paramount)


“The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Third Season” – The droll-meister of 1970s and ’80s television is back with year three of his first hit sitcom, in which he stars as a psychologist with a lovely wife (Suzanne Pleshette) and a wacky bunch of patients, colleagues and neighbors. $29.98. (20th Century Fox)

“In Living Color: Season Five” – The final season of the sketch-comedy series features Chris Rock joining up with Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier and the rest of the show’s comic chameleons. The last 26 episodes are collected in a three-disc set. $39.98. (20th Century Fox)

“The Merv Griffin Show: 40 of the Most Interesting People of Our Time” – This three-disc best-of collection features talk-show legend Griffin alongside a who’s who of world leaders and cultural icons, among them past presidents (Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford); fallen heroes (Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy); media figures (Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters); and entertainers (George Burns, John Wayne, Ingrid Bergman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington). $29.98. (Alpha)

Other new releases

“The Greatest Game Ever Played” – Yet another inspirational, based-on-a-true-story underdog sports tale, this one a nicely performed but rather repetitive and monotonous account of the 1913 golf showdown between caddy Francis Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf) and British champ Harry Vardon (Stephen Dillane). Director Bill Paxton and writer Mark Frost offer commentary. $29.99. (Disney)

“Woman Thou Art Loosed” – Dallas minister T.D. Jakes co-stars as himself in the adaptation of his book about counseling abused women. Kimberly Elise plays a woman who ends up on death row after a life of horrible ill-treatment but finds a new spiritual life through Jakes’ ministrations. Previously available in a bare-bones DVD, the movie comes in a new edition with deleted footage, two features and a segment on Jakes’ organization. $26.98. (20th Century Fox)

“The Laurel and Hardy Collection” – Three of Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel’s later and lesser comedies from the 1940s debut on DVD in a three-disc set: The detective spoof “The Big Noise,” the Army romp “Great Guns” and the musical adventure “Jitterbugs.” The set includes a 30-minute documentary and vintage newsreels, and each movie is accompanied by commentary from biographer Randy Skretvedt. $34.98. (20th Century Fox)

Some DVD issues may not have corresponding VHS releases. VHS prices vary widely.

Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni star in “Fun with Dick and Jane,” out today on DVD.

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