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Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Collection

HBO

SHOW A-

SPECIAL FEATURES B-

DVD GEEK FACTOR 8.25

(OUT OF 10)

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If you've waited to pick up the Conchords DVDs, now is the time to get 'em. This package gives you both seasons of the Emmy-nominated series—and, for the first time, the One Night Stand special on DVD.

The New Zealand duo of Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie is the funniest musical act since Tenacious D, and One Night Stand, recorded in 2005, was more or less their introduction to America. The special was broadcast before the series hit the air, and it's a classic. It's sort of surreal to go back and witness it before the events of the TV show; back then, they had a certain cockiness to them, before they got all self-deprecating and beaten-down for the series. The special stands as proof that 1) these guys had it together in a big way before they became super-almost-famous, and 2) they should keep doing stuff together until they die, because they rule.

In December of last year, the duo announced that they would not be returning for another season of the series. While Clement has been showing up in movies, McKenzie (a decent comic actor) hasn't done anything of note since.

While the show isn't coming back, the duo did tour as a band this year, and all indicators are that they will continue to do so in the future. Make a movie, boys!

SPECIAL FEATURES: The season DVDs are the same as the previously released versions. There are no supplements with Season One and the One Night Stand special. Season Two has a documentary, deleted scenes and outtakes that are worth taking in.


Piranha

SHOUT FACTORY

MOVIE C+

SPECIAL FEATURES B-

DVD GEEK FACTOR 5

(OUT OF 10)

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Just in time for the release of Piranha 3D, Joe Dante's cult classic (produced by none other than Roger Corman) gets a DVD re-release. The movie hasn't gotten any better in the 32 years since its original release, although, unlike most Corman films, it was never really that bad.

Given that Dante probably had around $50 to make his movie, he actually did a pretty good job. The movie gets better as it goes along, ending with two piranha feeding frenzies that are adequately gory and even a little scary in spots. The film also has legendary actor Kevin McCarthy on hand as a crazy scientist, and his death scene is a hilarious thing of beauty.

Worth noting: Rob Bottin, legendary for his gore effects in John Carpenter's The Thing, did some of this film's bloody effects. Also worth noting: John Sayles wrote the screenplay. That's some interesting talent for a movie about killer fish.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A funny commentary with Dante, and a new documentary that takes an interesting look at making a horror movie for no money. You also get some deleted scenes and bloopers.


The Joneses

20TH CENTURY FOX

MOVIE C+

SPECIAL FEATURES D

DVD GEEK FACTOR 4

(OUT OF 10)

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David Duchovny and Demi Moore play a fake husband and wife who are planted in an upscale neighborhood with fake children (Amber Heard and Ben Hollingsworth) to inspire their neighbors to buy stuff. While the neighbors see the Joneses as purveyors of cool and fashion, they are just hired hands trying to drive commerce.

What starts as a decent satire of American consumerism degenerates into something that takes itself a little too seriously. Gary Cole and Glenne Headly play envious neighbors, and their storyline is a major factor in this dark comedy losing its way. There's a moment when director Derrick Borte stops poking fun at American society, and starts trying to make a grandiose, tragic statement. It's so discordant that it derails the film.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Deleted scenes, and that is all.


$5 a Day

IMAGE

MOVIE C-

SPECIAL FEATURES D

DVD GEEK FACTOR 3.75

(OUT OF 10)

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Christopher Walken and Alessandro Nivola star in this predictable road movie that has been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years. There's a reason it never got a major release: While it's not awful, it isn't very good.

Nivola plays Ritchie, a grouchy ex-con who learns that his father, Nat (Walken), is dying. The two wind up taking a cross-country trip so that Nat can get some experimental treatment. One of the film's running gags is that Nat can get everything for free—including meals at IHOP and free gas—because he drives a vehicle covered with Sweet'N Low logos.

Sharon Stone shows up in a bathing suit for a couple of half-amusing scenes, and Walken has his moments, but this movie feels too much like many road pictures that came before it. Nivola is no match for Walken, and they make a rather boring road team.

SPECIAL FEATURES: You get a couple of interviews ... and a Sweet'N Low coupon.

More by Bob Grimm

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