Pick of the week is 'real' dog (show)
An improvised comedy set in the world of elite dog shows is the week's top new video.
THIS WEEK'S RENT
"Best in Show," from director Christopher Guest and many of the same cast members who performed in the memorable "Waiting for Guffman," is a largely improvised fake documentary about five couples and their canine companions, all headed for the Mayflower Dog Show (loosely based on the famed Westminster Dog Show). The cast includes Guest, Parker Posey, Eugene Levy and Fred Willard, who nearly steals the whole show. The DVD includes nearly a dozen deleted scenes and commentary from Guest and Levy. 90 minutes. PG-13, parental guidance suggested for children 13 and under, for adult situations.
"Pay It Forward" is about a boy who responds to an assignment from his social studies teacher by hatching a do-good plan in which people - instead of paying back favors they owe others - pay them "forward" by doing good deeds for three other people. Then, those people do good deeds for three other people, and so on. The cast includes Haley Joel Osment, Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. The DVD features commentary from director Mimi Leder. 123 minutes. PG-13, for violence and adult themes.
"Antitrust" features Tim Robbins as a Bill Gates-like magnate and Ryan Phillipe as the young programmer who goes to work for him and quickly discovers an evil plot. The cast also includes Rachael Leigh Cook and Claire Forlani. The DVD includes deleted scenes. 108 minutes. PG-13, for violence and profanity.
"A Texas Funeral" stars Martin Sheen in a saga about a Texas family gathering for the funeral of a grandfather; you can bet that long-simmering family tensions and scandals will be boiling over. The cast includes Christopher Noth, Robert Patrick, Isaiah Washington, Joanne Whalley, Grace Zabriskie and Olivia d'Abo. DVD available. 101 minutes. R, restricted, for sexual content and some violence.
"Carman: The Champion" features Christian music star Carman in a flick about a former boxing champ who wants to establish an inner-city ministry for young people. The former champ finds himself roped into a big-deal fight with the current world cruiserweight champion. Michael Nouri also stars. DVD available. 100 minutes. PG-13.
MADE FOR TELEVISION
"Cabin by the Lake" stars Judd Nelson as a screenwriter who also is a serial killer who drowns his victims; oddly enough, the screenwriter's latest film is about a serial killer who drowns his victims. DVD available. 91 minutes. R, for violence.
With Memorial Day and "Pearl Harbor" right around the corner, Fox Home Entertainment has released three World War II films on DVD. "Tora! Tora! Tora!" is the 1970 epic that tells the story of the attack on Pearl Harbor from both the Japanese and the American sides. The cast includes Jason Robards, Martin Balsam and E.G. Marshall; the special effects won an Oscar. Also new to DVD: "Twelve O'Clock High," from 1949, with Gregory Peck, and "Von Ryan's Express," from 1965, with Frank Sinatra.
Danny DeVito's black comedy "Throw Momma from the Train" is out on DVD, and the disc includes some deleted scenes. Also making its DVD debut is John Sayles' baseball movie "Eight Men Out," about the Chicago Black Sox scandal; sadly, the disc features virtually no extras.
Coming next week: "Requiem for a Dream" and "Vertical Limit."