Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Second Season
The second run of Larry David’s absurd reinvention of his life delivered spots by former Seinfeld cronies Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus—and a hysterical episode in which David breaks up with his therapist after spotting the good doctor on the beach in a man-thong. NR; $39.98.
The characters of David Mamet’s conspiracy-packed military thriller “use words to maim and shock” just as thoroughly as Mamet’s civilian characters do, wrote New York’s Peter Rainer. R; $24.98.
The Simpsons: Season Four
More Bart for your buck. NR; $49.98.
The Station Agent
Bobby Cannavale, Patricia Clarkson, and Peter Dinklage deliver naturalistic performances in Thomas McCarthy’s debut curio. R; $29.99.
Monk: Season One
Tony Shalhoub’s obsessive-compulsive series, collected for its obsessed fans. NR; $59.98.
Touching the Void
Kevin Macdonald’s surprisingly thrilling docudrama re-creation of an infamous 1985 climb in the Peruvian Andes. R; $29.98.
As if we needed further proof of Disney’s marketing stumbles, the studio released its brilliantly madcap, hand-animated children’s movie Teacher’s Pet in the Hollywood dumping ground that is January. Lacking the support of the now-canceled Emmy-winning show on which it was based, the film never had a shot at the box office, despite being one of the smartest little kids’ films released in years. A simple tale of a boy and a dog—in which the dog finds a mad scientist who might just turn him into a human—is enlivened by the animation of Gary Baseman, a gallery impresario known more for his morphing, more-than-slightly-sexual paintings and sculptures. Skies shine bright yellow, houses sing, Disney icons twist and turn, while bizarre landscapes unspool to a score of witty songs that have more in common with The Producers than Blue’s Clues (in fact, Nathan Lane voices the dog). Of course, the joy of finding a brilliant Disney flop is that you can push it on your kids without committing to a whole franchise of products: The movie tie-ins are long gone by now. PG; $22.99. Extras: deleted scenes; television-series premiere episode.