Arts & Culture » Home Entertainment

Blessed Are the Buttmunches

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Beavis and Butt-head: The Mike Judge Collection, Volume One (Paramount)

This three-disc, 40-episode volume chronicling Beavis and Butt-head's early years will come as a relief to anyone who was stuck in a teenage wasteland when the MTV series first hit the air; turns out, we weren't just stoned -- this stuff is still funny. A celebration of stupidity as rebellion, the show always flaunted a thread of intelligence beneath its wave of huh-huh-huhs. The third disc blessedly includes some of the music-video commentary, much of which is as funny as any episode (and the videos always were better than what MTV played the rest of the day). Don't miss the doc "Taint of Greatness, Part One," in which a still-bewildered Mike Judge explains the genesis of the major characters and the evolution of the word "buttmunch." -- Jordan Harper

The Devil's Rejects (Lions Gate)

If entertainment value were a reasonable means for judging a film, The Devil's Rejects would draw Oscar buzz, and Cinderella Man could go hang. Rob Zombie's homage to grindhouse horror is a masterpiece of creepy atmosphere and bloody fireworks. And while this unrated cut doesn't shock all that much more than the theatrical version did, it's still worth owning: Where else could you get vintage anti-Satan country-music videos and a mock snuff film as extras? The director's commentary reveals Zombie's devotion to his craft, and the chatty actors' commentary presents Sheri Moon Zombie (the director's gorgeous wife) as a solid case for creepy young men to get into show business. The second disc's documentary is a crash course in low-budget filmmaking that goes on too long for casual fans, but will inspire those true believers who know a B-movie renaissance is just around the corner. -- Harper

Sex and the City: The Complete

Series -- Ultimate DVD Collection (HBO)

The phrase "ultimate DVD collection" affixed to the latest repackaging of HBO's former franchise series suggests more than it offers: Where are the commentary tracks from Sarah Jessica Parker or Candace Bushnell, or the retrospective doc detailing how the series became a phenom, still worshiped long after its awfully happy ending? Alas, what you get instead is a bonus disc that isn't much of one: There are the mishmash montages, a short tourists' guide to the show's fab locations, a few quiz games that would play better on paper than TV screen, bios of assorted guests, and other effluvia better suited to a giveaway. The collection's nicely presented -- a suede binder encased in Plexiglas -- but it's far less "ultimate" than last year's complete collection, which cost the same ($200 among retailers ashamed of the $300 suggested price) and came with alternate endings, commentaries, and a handful of nifty documentaries. This is a fancy-schmancy rip-off, like those shoes you're wearing. -- Robert Wilonsky

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Warner Bros.)

For those willing to push aside their nostalgia for Gene Wilder and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Tim Burton's Charlie is a near-total success. Perennial Burton leading man Johnny Depp is pitch-perfect, playing the eccentric candy magnate as a cross between Michael Jackson and the Church Lady, and the lavish production design is its own metaphor: Tim Burton meets Willy Wonka. The second disc is loaded with engaging extras, from a series of short making-of documentaries to dancing Oompa-Loompa games. Among the docs, be sure to take in the one about training squirrels for the nut scene; safe to say, you'll not see another quite like it. -- Harper

Beavis and Butt-head The Devil's Rejects Sex and the City Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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