Digital breakdown: Cruise control

Hanging out with cool ‘Kids,’ another ‘CSI’ hits the market

With most of the cool Halloween DVDs having already been pushed out into the market, it is slim pickings this week. However, even on short weeks there are usually a number of gems that emerge from the rubble, and this week is no different. The cream of the crop is listed here.


Poor J.J. Abrams. The creator-producer-director of such fine television as “Lost,” “Alias” and “Felicity” finally got his big break on the big screen with the action-packed “Mission: Impossible III” just in time to be part of the greatest public relations nightmare of all time in the form of star Tom Cruise jumping manically on Oprah Winfrey’s couch.

Now with a little Suri under his wing, Cruise has recovered some of that bad PR and “M:I III” is actually pretty entertaining, with Abrams taking his interesting storytelling style to a major motion picture with big stars. Granted, Philip Seymour Hoffman as bad guy Owen Davian is a stretch, especially since Hoffman still looks like a dead ringer for Truman Capote. But the film packs in stunts, gadgets and good times that aren’t nearly as good as the second film, but nowhere near as laborious as the first. Cruise again dons the mantle of Ethan Hunt, who tracks down a former covert-ops student (Keri Russell) of his and gets wrapped up in a gun-trade operation that bleeds into his own personal life.

Extras: The DVD includes a second disc dedicated to just special features. Price: $34.99. Rent or buy: Rent.


This might be the coolest thing ever. Not only does this DVD set contain the entire five-year run of one of the funniest comedies in the history of television, “The Kids in the Hall,” it gives it to you in one complete beefy collection, saving some much-needed space on that ever-expanding DVD wall.

The Kids were a quintet of Canadian comedians — Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson — who brought a completely different and interesting twist to the art of sketch comedy, the likes of which really hadn’t been seen at the time (the series ran from 1989 to 1994).

The other cool thing about this megaset is that it contains an interview with the Kids that lasts more than an hour, multiple audio commentaries by the Kids, 10 best-of compilations picked from a handful of fan-favorite lists, more than 90 minutes of original live performances, behind-the-scenes info and much more. Price:$239.95. Rent or Buy: Buy.


William Peterson is still right after all these years: Nothing tops the original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” on CBS. However, that doesn’t mean “CSI Miami” isn’t a good show. A different show, yes, but still pretty darn good considering the lead is the overacting David Caruso.

“The Complete Fourth Season” DVD includes a handful of audio commentaries and three featurettes on the production and post-production aspects of the show including the CGI of CSI. Say that five times fast. Price: $64.99. Rent or buy: Rent.


If you never heard of “Keeping Up With the Steins,” don’t feel bad, it barely even made a ripple at the box office buried underneath multiple remakes, sequels and movies based on comic books.

“Steins” is a laugh-out-loud comedy about a good natured father (Jeremy Piven) who wants to give his son (Daryl Sabara) a proper bar mitzvah. The problem is that his archrival (played by journeyman Larry Miller) just threw an amazing bar mitzvah of his own and now he feels the pressure to — you guessed it — keep up with the Steins.

With plenty of crude humor, nice one-liners and some great physical comedy, it’s too bad more people didn’t check it out in theaters. Price: $29.99. Rent or buy: Rent.