Those lampooning lads who made a laughingstock of the living dead in "Shaun of the Dead" now set their satiric sights on idealized rural English life and over-the-top cop movies in the wild sendup Hot Fuzz, new from Universal Studios Home Entertainment ($29.98). It's our ...
DVD pick of the week
When London police officer Nicholas Angel's (co-writer Simon Pegg) extreme heroics show up his fellow flatfeet, he finds himself reassigned to bucolic Sandford, a sleepy, seemingly crime-free village, where he's partnered with Danny Butterman ("Shaun" costar Nick Frost), a bumbling slacker obsessed with Hollywood action flicks like "Point Break" and "Bad Boys II."
But soon enough a bizarre series of bloody "accidents" plagues the hitherto somnolent hamlet, propelling Nicholas and Danny into law-enforcement overdrive to uncover a sweeping conspiracy.
As they did in "Shaun," Messrs. Pegg, Frost and director/co-writer Edgar Wright successfully merge sharp celluloid parody with solid character-based comedy. Among the more amusing characters on view are former James Bond Timothy Dalton as a megalomaniac entrepreneur, Jim Broadbent as the local chief inspector, and, in a nod to the original "The Wicker Man," which "Hot Fuzz" likewise references, that film's star Edward Woodward, cast here as town historian Tom Weaver.
While not every bit scores a bull's-eye, there's more than enough honest mirth, ranging from the subtle to the downright rude, to please "Shaun" fans and general comedy lovers. Extras include featurettes, promotional tour footage, outtakes, a trivia track and more.
Comedies likewise dominate the week's TV-on-DVD slate. Buena Vista Home Entertainment spotlights John Ritter in 8 Simple Rules: The Complete First Season and Tim Allen in Home Improvement: The Complete Seventh Season (three-disc, $23.99 each), and offers The Muppet Show: The Complete Second Season (four-disc, $39.99).
The related Walt Disney Entertainment issues two family-friendly laugh-getters, Cory in the House: All-Star Edition and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Sweet Suite Victory ($19.99 each).
Elsewhere, BBC Video has the Britcom My Hero: The Complete Second Season ($19.98), Anchor Bay Entertainment contributes Roseanne: Season 8 (four-disc, $39.98), 20th Century Fox rounds up Homer and brood for The Simpsons: Season 10 (four-disc, $49.98), and Shout! Factory welcomes back Marlo Thomas as That Girl: Season Three (four-disc, $39.99).
In a more earnest vein, Paramount Home Entertainment puts the accent on youth and family life, respectively, in The Hills: The Complete Second Season (three-disc, $39.99) and Soul Food: The Second Season (five-disc, $49.99). HBO Video continues its epic historical series Rome: The Complete Second Season (five-disc, $99.98), crammed with cast and crew audio commentaries and featurettes.
Lionsgate goes the paranormal route with The Dresden Files: The Complete First Season (three-disc, $39.98), while WGBH Boston Video unveils the public TV series The Kids of DeGrassi Street (three-disc, $39.95).
Collectors' corner: Elvis
Vintage Elvis Presley rules in a wealth of new releases:
• Paramount's Lights! Camera! Elvis! Collection (eight-disc, $69.99) gathers eight films — Blue Hawaii, Easy Come, Easy Go, Fun in Acapulco, G.I. Blues, Girls! Girls! Girls!, King Creole, Paradise, Hawaiian Style and Roustabout.
• MGM Home Entertainment's four-disc Elvis Movie Legends Collection ($39.98) assembles the showcases Clambake, Follow That Dream, Frankie and Johnny and Kid Galahad.
• Warner Home Video's Elvis: The Hollywood Collection (six-disc, $49.92) furnishes Charro!, Girl Happy, Kissin' Cousins, Live a Little, Love a Little, Stay Away, Joe and Tickle Me.
• Four of Warner's Elvis-related titles receive separate special editions — Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas ($19.97 each) and the double-disc documentaries This Is Elvis and Elvis: That's the Way It Is ($20.97 each).
More for collectors
Warner Home Video travels farther back to salute two enduring screen icons in its Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection (five-disc, $49.92), supplying the duo's Double Wedding, Evelyn Prentice, I Love You Again, Love Crazy and Manhattan Melodrama, along with vintage cartoons and shorts.
The 'A' list
Four comedies top the list of recent theatrical releases making their digital debuts — the Ice Cube vehicle Are We Done Yet? (Sony Pictures, $28.95), the Chris Rock project I Think I Love My Wife (20th Century Fox, $29.98), the CGI action romp TMNT and the kids-amok chucklefest Unaccompanied Minors (both Warner, $28.98 each).
DreamWorks Home Entertainment counter-programs with Shia LeBeouf in D.J. Caruso's voyeuristic thriller Disturbia ($29.99).
In cartoon news, Warner issues the long-anticipated 60-title Popeye The Sailor 1933-1938 set (four-disc, $64.92), armed with commentaries, documentaries and more. Universal counters with The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection (three-disc, $39.98), assembling some 75 theatrical cartoons along with bonus featurettes.
Dear Phantom: Since it was first revealed in "Collectors' Corner," I've failed to find the Tyrone Power Collection.
— B. Berard, via e-mail
That vintage 20th Century Fox collection is now available for purchase via Amazon.com.
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