EVERY LITTLE STEP
If you ever dreamed of making it as a Broadway dancer, this documentary will beat that whimsy right out of you. Cataloging the 2006 revival of the musical A Chorus Line, the film introduces you to a slew of insecure performers, many of whom have their dreams obliterated through an intense audition process.
The movie surges with the forward momentum of a reality show recap/best-of episode, and lets you know all too effectively exactly how your Broadway sausage is made: With the main ingredients as vindictive one-upsmanship, broken dreams and mascara-colored tears.
Deleted scenes and commentary are also on the disc.
IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA: SEASON 4
The three-disc set was released last month, before this column existed, but I had to double back to sing the praises of the best season yet of history’s funniest sit-com.
The show follows a gang of despicable, narcissistic dimwits in their early 30s who run the worst bar in Phildelphia. They launch crackpot plans, undermine one another at every turn and make you laugh so hard you snort soda out your nose. Charlie Day, who plays a dumpster-diving, borderline-illiterate drunkard, is the star attraction, and Danny DeVito is consistently strong as the characters’ demented father figure.
Season 4 includes the show’s best episode, the season finale, “The Day Man Cometh,” which was so awesome the cast turned it into a live roadshow, the footage of which is included in the set.
Season 5 is currently rolling on FX. Don’t wait until the DVD of the season comes out next year to be dazzled.
WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (BLU-RAY)
Released last week, the 1971 Gene Wilder classic pops in Blu-ray the way it hasn’t since those midnight campus theater showings during your college days. The film is gloriously demented as it follows Wonka’s off-kilter Wonka character, who runs a national contest that allows a select few kids entry into his secretive candy factory, which turns out to be a house of horrors that dispenses deformity and possibly death to the bratty kids who tempt fate. You gotta love the film, if only for the trippy Oompa-Loompa musical cutaways.
Extras include singalongs, loads of making-of featurettes and commentary from castmembers. The disc packaging is a book that includes lyrics to the songs in the movie.
Also out this week:
•Drag Me To Hell: Alison Lohman sizzles as a cruel loan officer who repossesses a home from an old lady, setting off a curse that unleashes a living hell on her life. Extras: Making-of video diaries.
•The Land of the Lost: Will Ferrell remakes the seminal cheeseball 1970s TV series, about a family that lives in a land of dinosaurs and other odd creatures. Extras: Commentary.
•The Proposal: Sandra Bullock plays a pushy business exec who orders her underling (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her. Extras: Outtakes, commetntary.
Phil Villarreal’s humorous money-saving book, Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel, is available at bookstores and on Amazon.