DVD of the Week: 'Get Smart.' Plus 'A Christmas Story' Coll. Ed.

I had my reservations about Get Smart, being a childhood devotee of the '60s TV show classic with Don Adams and Barbara Feldon and having seen the hardly glowing movie reviews.

Good news, though -- with a decent script, a snicker here and there, fleshed out characters and Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart, Get Smart is solid, if a bit vanilla, entertainment. You won't find yourself slapping your knees or ROFL, but Knocked Up this isn't. Without The Office screenwriters at hand, Carell still manages to do a funny turn as the CONTROL agent who partners with Agent 99 on a mission to prevent Russian spy group KAOS from starting nuclear war. He really does nail the bumbling-yet-brainy underdog spy. Anne Hathaway fits the bill as 99, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson shows his comedy chops, and always great Alan Arkin steals the show as head of CONTROL. [Watch an exclusive DVD clip]


Extras: In refreshing old-school style, the movie starts the minute you put it in the player. There's no previews to wade through, no menu to wait to load. The menu is available as a pop-up function. One thing that's confusing: you can opt to watch the movie in "comedy optimization mode," with 45 minutes of alternative jokes, that I couldn't figure out how to get to work; it just seemed like deleted scenes strung together. Plus there's a bunch of featurettes and bonus game disc (only Blu-ray edition).

Overview: You won't be bored, and you'll find yourself giggling despite yourself.

Also New on DVD/BD:

A Christmas Story Ultimate Collector's Edition I triple-dog dare you to pass this up. The originally much-maligned, now-cult-classic film starring Peter Billingsley as a kid in 1940s Midwest who just wants a Red Rider BB gun under the tree celebrates its 25th anniversary with an all-out deluxe edition. It comes in a retro cookie tin with lots of goodies: five collectible cookie cutters in iconic shapes from the movie (leg lamp snickerdoodles, anyone?), a 48-page cookbook of film-inspired recipes, photos, and chef's apron along with the 2-disc DVD or single-disc BD. Don't worry, there's no risk of shooting your eye out.

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