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The Best of Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist

For a show that helped change Comedy Central from something other than a clearinghouse for “Saturday Night Live” reruns, “Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist” hasn’t been particularly well-remembered by its corporate parents – aside from a quickly aborted series of season sets and an absurdly expensive, 13-DVD complete collection, fans of the show have had few options for reliving its 1995-99 run, even on a network that finds room for repeat airings of virtually everything it’s ever aired. That changes – sort of – with the 110-minute “The Best of Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist,” but despite offering a decent cross-section of the series’ best bits (including appearances from Dave Chappelle, Conan O’Brien, Ray Romano, Denis Leary, and Janeane Garofalo), “Best Of” still manages to fall short of its title, thanks to the producers’ decision to trim the included episodes down to the bits that center on Katz’s sessions with his celebrity clients, forsaking the storylines that focused on supporting players Ben Katz (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) and receptionist Laura (Laura Silverman). For people who just sort of vaguely remember “Katz,” this won’t be any great loss – but those people probably aren’t going to spend $20 on this DVD, no matter how many celebrity names appear on the front cover. Still, these clips – divided among 18 of Katz’s best-known “clients” – offer a pleasant way to pass a couple of hours, and the show’s deadpan humor is still just as effective as it was in the ‘90s. Of course, that squiggly animation is just as distracting, too – but again, if it bothered you in the first place, you wouldn’t even be reading this. All in all, not a bad stocking stuffer for someone who doesn’t rate the $100 it’ll cost you to get the complete set.

Click to buy “The Best of Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist”

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A Chat with Robert Fuller (“Laramie,” “Wagon Train,” “Emergency”)

If you’re a Western fan, then you know him from his work on “Laramie” and “Wagon Train,” but if you grew up in the ’70s, then you’re more likely to recall him as Dr. Kelly Brackett on “Emergency.” Either way, you have to give it to Robert Fuller: the man had some of the best sideburns in the business. Although he’s since retired from acting in favor of a life of leisure, Fuller is hopping back on the publicity trail to offer his praise for the release of “Wagon Train: The Complete Color Season,” which gave us the opportunity to chat with him about the various films and television series he’s worked on throughout his career.

Get ready for…

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Dragon Ball Z: Season Seven

The seventh season of “Dragon Ball Z” is a bit of an odd duck compared to the rest of the series, as the lack of a major villain makes it seem like nothing happens. In fact, some have even compared it to the mini-arc of filler episodes better known as the Garlic Jr. Saga, but whereas those episodes did little to further the story, Season Seven serves as the buildup to the big finale. It’s also a nice break from the exhausting Cell Games, and it makes some great strides in the development of the Z Fighters along the way. For starters, Gohan has finally become a teenager, and when he’s not getting into trouble with classmate Videl (AKA Mr. Satan’s daughter), he’s moonlighting as the superhero called Great Saiyaman. Goku, meanwhile, takes part in an Other World Tournament for the chance to train with the Grand Kai, and when he finally returns to Earth to fight in the upcoming World Martial Arts Tournament, he discovers that he also has a new son named Goten. Though it may seem a bit counterproductive to age Gohan and then create a brand new character who’s just like him, this time around, they’ve given the little tyke someone to play with (young Trunks), making them both that much less annoying from the get-go. Plus, with two tournaments worth of fighting and the hilarious return of Mr. Satan, how could anyone call Season Seven filler? It might not be as epic as past sagas, but you better believe it’s just as good.

Click to buy “Dragon Ball Z: Season Seven”

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Day of the Dead

First Look Studios is one crafty little company. Attempting to piggyback on the success of Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead,” the indie label greenlit a remake of George A. Romero’s third zombie flick, “Day of the Dead,” and even went so far as to cast Ving Rhames in a supporting role. It was all done in the hope that fans would believe the film was a follow-up to the 2004 remake of “Dawn,” and since it’s a pretty shady move on their part, I have no problem spoiling the fact that Rhames (playing a completely different character) dies within the first 20 minutes. The rest of the film is spent following a group of soldiers (led by Mena Suvari and Nick Cannon) around a small Colorado town trying to escape a virus outbreak that has turned certain people into flesh-eating zombies. Passed around like a bad cold, the new virus angle may sound like an interesting twist to a familiar tale, but it’s actually much worse. Somehow, this outbreak is only affecting one city, and though some victims turn into zombies after being bitten, others don’t. WTF? As for the zombies themselves, director Steve Miner has decided to stick with the newer, faster versions, but in order to produce their superhuman speed, he resorts to amateurish tricks like speeding up the tape. It’s all pretty lame stuff, and though an action sequence midway through offers gory headshots aplenty, it’s the only shining moment in a poorly made cash grab more than deserving of the direct-to-video treatment.

Click to buy “Day of the Dead”

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The Biggest Loser: Revenge Doesn’t Taste Sweet

So last week I said that Amy was making a big, big mistake by not voting Vicky off the ranch on “The Biggest Loser: Families”…..and I was right. Amy voted off Vicky’s husband Brady the week before, and last week, instead of pulling the trigger on kicking off evil Vicky, she plucked Coleen off the ranch.

Last night’s episode began by showing Michelle and Renee, the remaining black team members, commenting that Amy had made a mistake and then trainer Jillian Michaels saying, “Vicky is going to get Amy.” Vicky’s pal Heba agreed, and Vicky even said she still doesn’t trust Amy. Oh, how I wish you would have pulled the trigger last week, Amy.

Anyway, it was an NFL-themed week since it’s the week of Thanksgiving, and the first challenge featured former NFL stars Jerry Rice and Steve Young Read the rest of this entry »

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