BY MARK BURGER
DVD PICK OF THE WEEK: “THE UNTOUCHABLES”: THE FOURTH SEASON
“THE UNTOUCHABLES”: THE FOURTH SEASON (CBS DVD/ Paramount Home Entertainment): When the fact becomes legend, print the legend.
That was clearly the case in the action-packed ABC crime drama based on real-life treasury agent Eliot Ness, which ran four full seasons before finding eternal appreciation in syndication. (New York’s WOR-TV aired late-night reruns, where yours truly caught up with it.)
Robert Stack gives a no-nonsense account of the square-jawed Ness, single-minded in his purpose to eradicate crime from the mean streets of Chicago in the early 1930s. With famed newspaper columnist Walter Winchell providing staccato narration, Ness metes out justice in two-fisted, double-barreled fashion. An ongoing joke at the time was that Stack’s Ness fired his gun more in a random episode than Ness did in his entire career. Historical accuracy (or otherwise) aside, each episode usually ended with an old adage: Crime does not pay.
The show was a hit with audiences and critics, with Stack winning an Emmy in 1961. Other viewers, however, were not pleased.
Reports have surfaced that actual mobsters considered rubbing out executive producer Desi Arnaz over what they felt were unfair depictions of Italians — something of an ironic double standard. The series ran a total of 119 episodes and it’s not unfair to say that the show went out on top, or close to it. “Volume 1” contains the first 15 episodes from the 1962-’63 (and final) season, “Volume 2” the remaining 15. Each volume retails for $42.99.
“ADVENTURE TIME”: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (Cartoon Network/Warner Home Video): The Land of Ooo is the setting for this popular animated fantasy series depicting the wild antics of a human boy named Finn (voiced by Jeremy Shada) and his adopted brother, a dog named Jake (voiced by John DiMaggio). This two-DVD boxed set ($26.95 retail) includes all 26 episodes from the debut 2010 season, when it earned an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Short- Format Animated Program.
AYN RAND & THE PROPHECY OF ATLAS SHRUGGED (Virgil Films & Entertainment): Producer/director Chris Mortensen’s selfexplanatory documentary ($22.99 retail) explores the legacy of Rand’s controversial 1957 novel, her social philosophies and recent developments in world history. If anything, it’s got to be better than the feature film based on Atlas Shrugged.
“BASEBALL’S GREATEST GAMES: NEW YORK METS FIRST NO-HITTER” (Major League Baseball Productions/A&E Networks Home Entertainment): The official DVD release ($12.95 retail) of the full broadcast of hurler Johan Santana’s 8-0 no-hit win over the St. Louis Cardinals this June 1, the first no-hitter in Mets’ history.
“CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL”: THE COM- PLETE THIRD SEASON (Cartoon Network/ Warner Home Video): The medical madness continues in all 14 episodes from the 2011 season of the irreverent Adult Swim comedy series created by and starring Rob Corddry, costarring Megan Mullally, Malin Akerman, Lake Bell, Michael Cera and Henry Winkler. The DVD boxed set retails for $24.98.
“DESIGNING WOMEN”: THE FINAL SEASON (Shout! Factory): Judith Ivey joins Jan Hooks and series stalwarts Dixie Carter and Annie Potts in all 22 episodes from the 1992- ’93 season of the award-winning CBS situation comedy. The DVD boxed set retails for $44.99.
ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE (Old Street Films): Filmmaker Rob Lemkin and journalist Thet Sambath team up to direct this awardwinning documentary about the infamous (and very bloody) history of the Khmer Rouge and Cambodia’s killing fields. The two-DVD special edition retails for $29.99.
“HEY ARNOLD!”: SEASON 2, PART 2 (Shout! Factory): a two-DVD boxed set ($19.93 retail) featuring the final 10 episodes from the 1997-’98 season of the popular, award-winning animated Nickelodeon children’s series about a young boy with an overactive imagination.
THE JODI PICOULT COLLECTION (A&E Networks Home Entertainment): A DVD triplefeature ($19.95 retail) of made-for-Lifetime TV movies based on the title author’s novels: The Pact (2002) stars Megan Mullally and Henry Czerny, the award-winning Plain Truth (2004) stars Mariska Hargitay and Alison Pill, and Salem Falls (2011) stars James Van Der Beek.
“LEGO NINJAGO: MASTERS OF SPIN- JITZU”: SEASON ONE (The LEGO Group/ Warner Home Video): A DVD collection ($19.98 retail) containing all 13 episodes from the premiere 2011-’12 season of the popular Cartoon Network animated series in which characters from the LEGO toyline employ martial arts and mysticism in the fight against evil.
MEETING EVIL (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): Depressed businessman Luke Wilson is taken for a ride — literally — by mysterious Samuel L. Jackson in this nightmar ish but nonsensical thriller based on a Thomas Berger novel. Released theatrically to all of one theater (according to imdb), where it grossed less than $100. Third-act twists and Jackson’s patented relish can’t save it. Rated R.
“PAWN STARS”: VOLUME 4 (A&E Networks Home Entertainment): A two-DVD collection ($19.95 retail) of 16 episodes from the popular History Channel reality series about the comings and goings at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop operated by the Harrison family on the Las Vegas Strip.
“SANCTUARY”: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON (Entertainment One): It’s the last go-’round for scientist Amanda Tapping and her team of intrepid scientists as they investigate strange goings-on in all 13 episodes from the 2011 (and final) season of the award-winning Syfy sci-fi series. The DVD boxed set retails for $44.98, the Blu-ray boxed set for $49.98.
“SESAME STREET: IRON MONSTER AND SESAME HEROES” (Sesame Workshop/ Warner Home Video): With so many superhero movies being made, is it any wonder that the award-winning “Sesame Street” gang (Grover, Elmo, Bert & Ernie, etc.) would have fun with the concept? This (very) family-friendly educational DVD retails for $12.99.
“STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS 2012: LOS ANGELES KINGS” (National Hockey League/ Warner Home Video): A self-explanatory sports documentary recounting the first Stanley Cup championship in the 45-year history of the LA Kings franchise. The DVD retails for $24.98, the Blu-ray for $34.99.
“STORAGE WARS”: VOLUME THREE (A&E Networks Home Entertainment): The bidding is fierce and frequent in this DVD selection ($19.95 retail) of 16 episodes from the popular A&E reality series, timed to coincide with the third-season premiere.
“THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO”: SEASON THREE (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Entertainment): Karl Malden and Michael Douglas are back on the case in all 23 episodes from the 1974-’75 season of the awardwinning, prime-time ABC police drama, which earned seven Emmy nominations including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Malden) and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Douglas). “Volume One” includes the first 12 episodes, “Volume Two” the last 11. Each volume retails for $42.99.
“THUNDERCATS”: SEASON 1, BOOK 2 (Warner Home Video): A two-DVD collection ($19.97 retail) of eight episodes from the second half of the premiere 2011 season of the animated fantasy series based on a popular ‘80s animated series. The voiceover cast includes Emmanuelle Chriqui, Will Friedle, Corey Burton and Clancy Brown.
“TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL”: THE FIFTH SEASON (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Entertainment): Roma Downey, John Dye and Della Reese return to dispense heavenly wisdom, and maybe a miracle or two, in all 26 episodes from the 1998-’99 season of the long-running, award-winning CBS inspirational drama. Two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (Patty Duke and Marion Ross). The boxed set retails for $57.99.
MARK BURGER can be heard Friday mornings on the “Two Guys Named Chris” radio show on Rock-92. © 2012, Mark Burger.