Spidy’s Webbed-Out Soap Opera

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Don’t search for new DVDs each week. Stop by and we’ll tell you about the titles – even if they smell funny.

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Spider-Man 3
The Webslinger‘s third outing makes the common threequel mistake of piling on too many super-villains (in this case the Sandman, another Green Goblin, and alien tar-baby Venom), too many superheroes and way, way too much soap opera. As an FX blow-out, S3 is hard to beat. But the drama creaks, particularly when Kirsten Dunst is throwing a hissy fit over Bryce Dallas Howard. With cast commentary.

El Cantante
This Hector Lavoe biopic was doomed from the moment the words “Jennifer” and “Lopez” were attached, but judiciously fast-forwarding to Marc Anthony‘s dynamic musical performances says everything worth knowing about the smack-addicted salsero. Skip the movie, get the soundtrack. Deleted scenes and docs. Don’t forget J. Lo’s other disastrous flicks.

My So-Called Life: The Complete Series
It only lasted 19 episodes, but this 1994-1995 series became intensely influential, thanks to the casting of unknowns Claire Danes and Jared Leto and an intelligent appreciation of teen lives. Buffy creator Joss Whedon tips his hat to Life in the accompanying book. Other extras include two Danes interviews and a 1995 roundtable discussion on the flop that’s become a TV landmark.

The Three Stooges Collection: Vol. 1: 1934-1936
Moe, Larry and Curly reduced humor to its bare essence – a fistful of nyuks and twisted noses – then elevated it with inept ballets that inspired Ben Stiller‘s mugging and Will Ferrell’s pratfalls today. These 19 Depression-era shorts may look no fresher than they did in many a Gen Xer’s televisual memory, but the laffs are priceless. No joke: includes the Oscar-nominated 1934 gasbag “Men in Black.”


Classic Albums: Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt

Hovito‘s 1996 debut remains his benchmark, even if it was overshadowed by the chart reign that followed. Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, and Irv Gotti are among those paying tribute in VH1 Classic’s look at Sean Carter’s rise, which could benefit from more input from Jay-Z and his discarded cohort, Damon Dash.

The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk Festival
Not interesting because hootenanny versions of songs like “Who Killed Davey Moore?” are all that compelling, but because it charts Dylan‘s evolution from fresh-faced folk pretender to the electric turncoat who made Pete Seeger want to cut the power in 1965. A time capsule from when the future wore flannel.

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