This weeks DVD picks range from the macabre to the musical.
Game Change, Grade B: The cable film starts with the realization by the John McCain team they need to come up with their own game changer to have any hope of being able to defeat Barack Obama. Danny Strong, who wrote the screenplay, sees Sarah Palin as one of the great American political stories of our time a rather raw politician pushed into a national forum with little known about her.
You might argue with the films politics, but the one thing that isnt debatable is the performance by Julianne Moore as Palin. Its Moores brilliant work thats the true strength of the production.
Frankenweenie, Grade B: The elements that are the genius of director Tim Burton are all there. As he did with Edward Scissorhands, Burton strips away some of the shine of suburbia to show the darker side that lurks below. There is his fascination with life and death that has popped up in his Corpse Bride. And there is Burtons macabre interest in life after death, a driving theme of Beetlejuice.
Its as if the original Frankenweenie is a microcosm of themes Burtons examined in all of his other movies.
As long as the film focuses on those elements, Frankenweenie is a thrills-and-chills ride brought to life through Burtons quirky artistic style. Even in black and white, every scene is a splash of visual splendor. Smash: Season One, Grade B: The NBC series about staging a Broadway musical hits a few sour notes along the way but the overall production works as a character study about those who put art above everything else. The two main stars Katharine McPhee and Broadway veteran Megan Hilty are amazing to listen to and watch.
The second season begins in early February and this is a way to get caught up with the story.
ALSO NEW THIS WEEK:
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Season Two: Gil Gerard plays the astronaut who finds himself a future hero.
Enlightened: The Complete First Season: Laura Dern stars in the HBO series.
Angelina Ballerina: Dance Around the World: Its an international dance party featuring hops, slides and bops.
George Lopez: Its Not Me Its You: Comedy special starring George Lopez.