I say, anyone for a spot of tea? Or perhaps a hospital bed?
Downton Abbey: Season 2
In case you can't wait for Sunday's Series 2 finale (and next week's Christmas episode, which marks the official end of the U.S. broadcast of the British show's sophomore year) you can get your Downton Abbey fix starting today. Relive Edith's stolen kiss with the farmer Mr. Drake, Daisy's brief deathbed marriage to the stalwart William, Mary and Matthew's attempts to get over each other with other people and Downton's transformation from a private manor to a convalescence home for wounded World War I soldiers. You'll also be able to find out before anyone else (well, apart from those viewers that live in England anyway) whether Matthew and Lavinia actually go through with their marriage, if the Earl boffs that sweet new housemaid Jane and what tragedy next befalls Bates and Anna. Season 3 is another year away folks -- cherish Downton while you can.
Extras: Three featurettes covering various aspects of the show's production, from the fashions to the house itself.
CSI: Grave Danger
Hey, remember when Quentin Tarantino directed an episode of CSI? If not, CBS has released the super-sized 90-minute outing (which originally aired in 2005 as the show's fifth season finale) as a standalone DVD. The race against time scenario finds the original CSI team -- Grissom, Warrick, Sara, Catherine -- rushing to save Nick after he's buried alive by a cunning psychopath. Featuring clever cameos from Tony Curtis and Frank "The Riddler" Gorshin, Grave Danger is just as much fun as Grindhouse and a heck of a lot shorter.
Extras: A making-of featurette. Too bad licensing issues meant that they couldn't also include Tarantino's 1995 episode of ER.
The Sunset Limited
Tommy Lee Jones directed and stars opposite Samuel L. Jackson in this chamber piece penned by Pulitzer Prize winner novelist, Cormac McCarthy. The author's themes and peculiar voice are in full effect throughout the 90-minute telefilm, which touches on the eternal debate between good and evil, as well as the question of faith in a world seemingly void of hope. Jones and Jackson tear into McCarthy's words with gusto, but overall the film feels a little flat, straining for profundity that remains just out of reach.
Extras: A commentary track with McCarthy, Jackson and Jones and a behind-the-scenes featurette.
The Brontës of Haworth
Northern Lights: The Complete Collection
If Downton Abbey has whetted your appetite for more British TV, the good folks at Acorn have given you two more options this week, starting with a dramatized version of the lives of sisters and iconic authors, the Brontës. Beginning when Charlotte, Emily and Anne are children, the series tracks their evolution into respected novelists and poets, while their brother Branwell has a far more troubled life. Changing tracks completely, Northern Lights is a dramedy about two thirtysomething guys that have been friendly rivals since childhood and still can't help competing over which of them has the better job, family and house. So it's like an ongoing version of last week's Up All Night episode!
Extras: The Brontës of Haworth includes a featurette about the Brontës homestead and Northern Lights comes with a 45-minute making-of documentary.
Also on DVD:
Modern Family's Sarah Hyland headlines Geek Charming, a Disney Channel telefilm about a posh Beverly Hills princess that meets and falls for her own "frog," a dorky movie buff. Not to be outdone, another teen star Emily Osment stars in the ABC Family vehicle Cyberbully as a victim of online bullying. In one of the many signs that the Mayans may have been right about 2012, the second feature-length Fred movie, Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred arrives on DVD today. Meanwhile, nostalgia addicts can relive the '90s with Rocko's Modern Life: Season 2 and the '80s with Father Dowling Mysteries: The First Season.
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