Tuesday, June 30, 2009

DVD Picks: Do the Right Thing Turns 20 and Parker Lewis Goes Digital

Coming to DVD on Tuesday June 30th are a couple of releases that couldn't be more dissimilar: the 20th anniversary edition of Do the Right Thing and Parker Lewis Can't Lose: The Complete First Season.


Arguably his best film, Spike Lee's 1989 tale depicts simmering racial tensions within a multi-ethnic community in Brooklyn on a hot summer's day. Filled with memorable dialogue and colorful characters with names to match (Radio Raheem, Buggin' Out, Da' Mayor, et. al.), and a climax that still sparks controversy, the film has lost none of its power. I still think one of the biggest injustices in Academy Awards history is that Do the Right Thing didn't receive at the very least a nomination for Best Picture. Not too surprisingly, the Oscar for Best Picture that year went to a film that was a much safer depiction of race relations in America... the Jessica Tandy/Morgan Freeman drama Driving Miss Daisy. Time has had the last say though: while Do the Right Thing has grown in stature over the years, Driving Miss Daisy seems destined to be perceived as a relic from a bygone era.

The 2-disc set of the 20th anniversary of Do the Right Thing includes deleted scenes that were previously unseen and commentary by Spike Lee. If you haven't heard any of Lee's DVD commentaries, I'll tell you that he is one of the best when it comes to providing insight and background details.

Coming to DVD for the very first time is Parker Lewis Can't Lose, the Ferris Buelleresque sitcom that ran on FOX from 1990-1993. Although it's been years since I've seen Parker Lewis Can't Lose, I do recall enjoying the quirky camera angles, cartoonish sound effects, and the cast headed by the easygoing Corin Nemec (above, center) in the title role. The series was also notable for its use of eclectic guest stars (Ziggy Marley, Kool Moe Dee, Ozzy Osbourne, Married...With Children's David Faustino, and Donny Osmond all pop up during the 1st season).

The 4-DVD set of Parker Lewis Can't Lose: The Complete First Season comes with special features including exclusive interviews with the cast, crew, and creators.

4 comments:

BeckEye said...

PARKER! PARKER! PARKER! PARKER! PARKER! PARKER!

I'm so happy this show is finally on DVD. I used to love it. And I always thought Corin Nemec was a little bit dorky at the time, but he sure grew up nice.

jason said...

_Parker Lewis_ was my favorite show in junior high. I synchronized my Swatch, I had two printed silk (or rayon) shirts, and my friend Ryan had great Parker Lewis hair. And I dreamed of having a hideout with a locker for a secret entrance.
_Ferris Bueller_ the TV show came out sometime around then too. That show sucked. Even at my young age I knew the show jumped the shark in the first episode when Ferris pulled a remote detonator and blew-up the stage the principal was speaking from. I think that may have even been before the first commercial.

Dane Jackson said...

I loved Parker Lewis. Ahead of its time if you ask me. Ferris who?

Malcolm said...

BeckEye: I'm glad that Parker is finally on DVD too because it's rarely rerun anymore. I know it only ran for 3 seasons, but that didn't stop TV stations from rerunning "Gilligan's Island" to death.

Jason: Synchronizing their swatches... I forgot that Parker and his friends used to do that. You are right about the TV version of Ferris Bueller. The only thing it's really remembered for today is that Jennifer Aniston played his sister Jeannie.

Dane: Ferris who? lol I remember that in the first episode of Ferris Bueller, he scoffed that he was played in the movie by Matthew Broderick. Taking a jab at the far better movie version was a big mistake!

 
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