New releases available this week

The Blues Brothers 25th Anniversary Edition(Universal Studios Home Video)Dan Aykroyd and John Goodman's modern-day revival of the Blues Brothers is less a stroke of comedy genius than a dose of karaoke night at Hooters. Fight off those thoughts and pop in this 1980 classic. John Belushi and Aykroyd, a couple of white-guy hacks when it comes to music, are pitch-perfect as Jake and Elwood Blues, hard-luck brothers on a mission from God. Even the car chases -- which, at the time, were required of all comedies not penned by Woody Allen -- set the smash-up standard for the genre. The extras here are of mixed value: There´s an insightful documentary on the making of the film, from the genesis of the Blues Brothers to the quest for a permit to crash a car through the Daley Center´s front window. But the tribute to Belushi is all fluff and flab. Pretty much like the Blues Brothers today. (Jordan Harper)

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season Four(Warner Home Video)Those waiting for Larry David's HBO anti-sitcom to jump the shark will have to keep sitting on their hands: Season four may be its finest yet. Schwag is purchased, ¨mulatto¨ is uttered, hookers are taken to baseball games, and somehow it all feels very real -- and very absurd. David´s comedy genius (he´s also co-creator of Seinfeld) stems from his total lack of shame: He gleefully portrays himself as petty, vindictive, and painfully neurotic. This bare-bones set features the episodes and nothing else, but with Curb Your Enthusiasm, that´s enough. (Harper)

Monty Python's Flying Circus: Michael Palin's Personal Best(A&E Home Video)

It seems A&E will extract every dollar it can from the Monty Python revival spawned by Spamalot´s Broadway success. Along with this collection of sketches selected by Michael Palin, there are plans for a 16-disc superset this fall (to replace the evidently outmoded 14-disc set released in 2000). This disc shouldn´t be mistaken as Palin´s best sketches -- he doesn´t even appear in some of them. But he does pop up in classics such as ¨Blackmail¨ and ¨The Cheese Shop.¨ It´s hard to say exactly whom Palin´s Personal Best is for; certainly fans of the show have seen this stuff before. Also, beware of any disc that considers an interactive menu and scene-selection capability ¨special features.¨ (Harper)

 
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