ON DVD: The Three Stooges, Friends With Kids, Gene Kelly, The Beats, And More!


What do the Beat poets, a trio of slapstick knuckleheads, musicals with umbrellas, and witty female filmmakers have in common? Yep, they’re all coming to DVD and Blu-ray this week! Looking back in time, the documentary The Beat Hotel (above) revisits the mostly queer poets of the Beat Era, while the Farrelly Brothers’ surprisingly funny reboot of The Three Stooges sees Sean Hayes stepping into Larry’s curly wig, and the effervescent Singin’ In The Rain gets a sparkling 60th anniversary Blu-ray release. And fast-forwarding to the present day, Jennifer Westfeldt, of lesbian rom-com Kissing Jessica Stein fame, returns with a comedy about, well, Friends With Kids.

Friends With Kids
($39.99 Blu-ray, $27.98 DVD; Lions Gate)

Platonic pals Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (writer-director Jennifer Westfelt) decide to have a baby together and then begin their respective searches for romantic soulmates. Uh yeah, that makes things easier. So begins a bassinet-full of drama, complications and laughs thanks to Westfeldt’s crisp script and a cast of Bridesmaids faves like  Maya Rudolph, John Hamm, Chris O’Dowd and Kristen Wiig. A making-of featurette, blooper reel, deleted scenes, commentary and more fill out the extras. Diapers not included.



The Beat Hotel
($27.99 DVD, First Run Features)

Between the late 1950s and ’60s, a seedy nameless hotel in Paris hosted the Beat Generation’s key figures, including queer scribes William S. Burroughs, Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg. It was here, lodging in the company of other nonconformist artists (and probably bedbugs galore) that they were inspired to create some of their greatest works. Alan Govenar’s documentary illuminates this forgotten accommodation with photos, illustrations and firsthand recollections. Extras include two short films, Elliot Rudie drawings, and a deleted scene with Burroughs and Ian Sommerville. Who needs turndown service, anyway?



The Three Stooges
($39.99 Blu-ray, $29.98 DVD; Fox)

In this update, the Farrelly Brothers took one of Hollywood’s oldest slapstick teams and transformed them into an inventive, but still faithful, comedy trinity. (Too bad no one saw it when it came out.) Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes, and Will Sasso—as Moe, Larry and Curly, respectively—deliver the boinks and nyuk-nyuk-nyuks with panache. If you’re looking for a drinking game, pop this one in. Extras include deleted/extended scenes, featurettes on casting, the Stooges’ history and sound effects.



Singin’ In the Rain: 60th Anniversary
($84.99 Blu-ray/DVD collector’s edition, $19.98 Blu-ray; Warner Home Video)

This exuberant Hollywood musical, complete with its iconic Gene Kelly musical number, turns 60 this year. Recently revived in London’s West End as a giddy, colorful stage production, the film is still as entertaining as ever. (Double feature it with The Artist for some silent-talkie retro realness.) With an amazing DTS soundtrack and oodles of interesting stories about its making and legacy in the extras, its a must-have for both cineastes and show-tune queens. (Even modern-day musical maker Baz Lurhman chimes in on the commentary track, alongside surviving Rain cast members like Debbie Reynolds.) The whopping $84.99 collector’s edition includes all sorts of swag, including a full-size umbrella, posters and a 48-page production book.



Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Camelot (TV series)


Down By Law (Criterion Collection)