Film and TV

Today's DVDs & Blu-rays: Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyersin 6 Souls and a Zero Mostel Classic

In case you haven't noticed, we love horror movies. We especially love smart, new-twist-on-the-bad-guy horror movies made by talented people. Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are among the most talented working actors in Hollywood get these days, so we had high hopes for 6 Souls. Unfortunately, screenwriter Michael Cooney doesn't make the plot - or the characters - very smart and he doesn't give us a new twist on the bad buy. Moore plays Cara, a psychiatrist working with a patient who has multiple personalities (Meyers). She discovers some of his alternate personalities are murder victims. In helping him, she makes herself the next target. (For what it's worth, please notice that we didn't say "his" next target.)

There are strong echoes of Identity,a 2003 psychological thriller also written by Michael Cooney (there was a multiple personality murderer). But Identity had a real sense of suspense. It also had John Cusack as its hero. There are no heroes in 6 Souls. Actually, there are no victims really worth saving, either. The release we saw had no extras.

Mel Brooks made his directorial debut with The Producers; it's considered one of the highlights of his career. Yes, the 1968 comedy, being released here in a collector's edition, shows its age in spots (don't get us wrong, it's only the clothes and technology and not the jokes that seem dated). An accountant (a brilliant Gene Wilder) gets mixed up with a shady Broadway producer (an even more brilliant Zero Mostel). To dupe his investors the producer decides to put on a sure-to-fail musical called Springtime For Hitler. (Yep, le Führer sings and dances.) The plan is to let the show fail, take the money and run. Things get complicated when the show becomes a hit with audiences (they mistakenly think it's a comedy). These are stellar performances by several talented comedians, witty writing (also by Mel Brooks) and a gem of a story;The Producers is definitely worth a look. Extras include a couple of behind-the-scenes featurettes and the theatrical trailer.