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Deadwood: The Complete Second Season

HBO Show A-
Special Features B
DVD Geek Factor 7.5 (out of 10)

Good god, the language on this show is unholy. I thought Season One of this unique Western took profanity to its apex, but the opening salvo of this season takes naughty-word usage to all new levels. It's awesome!

The season starts off with Sheriff Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) and Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) kicking the living shit out of each other, and things only get worse from there. Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert) is drunk off her ass for most of the season (her one line in the first show is an intoxicated exclamation of "cocksuckers!").

Season 3 started on June 11, and it will be the last. That was supposed to be it for the show, but creator David Milch and HBO have come to an agreement to wrap things up with two post-season movies that will put the saga to rest. Deadwood fans, rejoice: The profanities will flow freely for a final, glorious four hours.

Special Features: Plenty of episode commentaries featuring cast and crew, and featurettes dealing with the real history of Deadwood (an actual place) and the making of the show.


Dazed and Confused: The Criterion Collection

Criterion
Movie B+
Special Features A
DVD Geek Factor 8 (out of 10)

This 1993 film was pretty much American Graffiti for the '70s. Director Richard Linklater followed up his indie hit Slacker with this fun look at high school students who take hazing a little too seriously.

It's the last day of school in 1976. Aerosmith, Black Sabbath and Kiss are blaring from car 8-tracks; jeans are a little too tight for proper circulation; and hair has forgotten what shampoo is.

The list of young actors who made this roster is long and mighty. Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey, Cole Hauser, Milla Jovovich, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason London and the legendary Ben Affleck all figure prominently in the hemp-filled festivities. This was also the first time people got a good look at Adam Goldberg, who has some of the film's funniest moments.

Linklater does a nice job capturing the silliness of the era without overdoing it. Movies about the '70s tend to get carried away with the big hair and "Have a Nice Day" T-shirts, but this one keeps things under control. The characters look and feel real rather than coming off as caricatures.

There's probably more gunplay in this film than the average party night in the '70s. Otherwise, this one works as a nice time-capsule testament to one of the weirder stages in our history.

Special Features: Criterion goes nuts again. This double-disc set weighs something in the neighborhood of 20 pounds (it's quite substantial when you pick it up). Disc One has a Linklater commentary, along with some deleted scenes. Linklater uses the track to reminisce about his war with the studio over the soundtrack album (they wanted him to have modern bands re-record classic rock hits; he refused). Disc Two is loaded with documentaries and audition tapes. Best of the auditions would be Adam Goldberg, who had the crew laughing even before he had the role. The feature that contributes to this package's major weight the most would be a 72-page booklet collecting essays on the film and the era.


Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic (The Unrated Movie)

Interscope
Movie B
Special Features A-
DVD Geek Factor 7 (out of 10)

Directed by Liam Lynch (who will be steering the upcoming Tenacious D movie), this stand-up comedy concert laced with strange films and music videos is a nice showcase for Sarah Silverman, one of the funniest women on the planet. The film is unrated with pretty good reason, for Silverman is afraid of no word and no topic.

This film isn't the funniest thing Silverman has ever made her mark on (That's Mr. Show), but it is one of the funnier stand-up performances in recent years. I will not repeat any of her jokes here, because I want to keep my job. I assure you they are as funny as they are nasty.

Be forewarned: If you don't find yourself laughing within a few minutes of the movie, it's not for you.

Special Features: A surprisingly packed DVD. Lynch and Silverman offer up a commentary, and a behind-the-scenes featurette gives all the details you would want to know on the making of the film. As an extra bonus, the disc contains Silverman's standout appearance in the film The Aristocrats.


Beavis and Butt-head: The Mike Judge Collection, Volume 2

Paramount Home Video
Show A-
Special Features B
DVD Geek Factor 8 (out of 10)

A second installment of the dumb-assed duo gathers 40 more cartoons chosen by creator Mike Judge. There are also 13 music videos with Beavis and Butt-head doing their classic commentary (they savage Radiohead and Rush). For parties, these discs are perfect for playing on a monitor while everybody gets drunk. It takes very little work to laugh at these guys.

Special Features: A three- disc set, with numerous special appearances by the animated duo, and part two of the ongoing Taint of Greatness: The Journey of Beavis and Butt-head.

More by Bob Grimm

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