There are moments in film and television that stay with you.
A lone traffic light swinging in the wind; a high school student uncontrollably crying in the classroom; a mother screaming on the other end of the phone as her husband is told their daughter has been murdered. Those are just three of the powerful images from the pilot episode of David Lynch's beautifully surreal TV series "Twin Peaks" that have stayed with me despite not seeing it for many years (my videotaped copy was lost, and the pilot has long been unavailable in this country).
The pilot is the initial reason for all the buzz surrounding the much anticipated "Twin Peaks: Definitive Gold Box Edition" ($108.99, Paramount, available now), and it doesn't disappoint. Although this show about an odd little town and the murder of a high school prom queen disintegrated in its second season, the moody and poetic pilot still stands as its own movie.
This 10-disc set will keep you busy for hours. It includes the pilot; a European version of the pilot with a perplexing alternate ending; all of the episodes from seasons 1 and 2; and fantastic new bonus features including a nearly two-hour, four-part documentary.
You'll notice a refreshing honesty as Lynch and the show's co-creator Mark Frost, along with production members and actors such as Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Sherilyn Fenn, Ray Wise and Piper Laurie reminisce about the series. No one backs off from discussing the show's eccentricity, nor how it became fatally bizarre during the second and last season. ("The whole second season pretty much sucked," says actress Kimmy Robertson.)
They all speak in one voice that ABC's insistence on identifying Laura Palmer's killer eventually led to the show's downfall. (Be warned: Stay away from the bonus features if you don't want to know the name of the killer.) Although Lynch and Frost knew who the killer was from the get-go, it was never meant to be revealed, Lynch says, adding that naming the killer was "a huge sadness and absurdity."
MacLachlan, who says his character of Special Agent Dale Cooper "felt like home" to him, was among the many who looked at the pilot as a one-time deal that "no one in their right mind" would consider making into a series.
The documentary also has a well-deserved segment on the show's mesmerizing music. Composer Angelo Badalamenti sits at the Fender Rhodes where he composed the haunting themes while Lynch described scenes to him. Ethereal vocalist Julee Cruise also discusses the music and Lynch's impact on it.
Lynch sits down for coffee and a chat with MacLachlan, Madchen Amick and his then-assistant John Wentworth in the delightful feature, "A Slice of Lynch."
Also included: MacLachlan on "Saturday Night Live"; the "Falling" music video; deleted scenes; image galleries; TV spots and commercials; and a spiffy set of "Twin Peaks" postcards.
Spider-Man going to the dark side, Venom and the Sandman are all pretty good reasons to watch the entertaining "Spider-Man 3" (Sony, available now). The action-filled sequel to the "Spider-Man" franchise is available in several versions:
*The single-disc DVD ($28.97) has audio commentaries with the likes of director Sam Raimi, actors Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco; bloopers; photo galleries; and a Snow Patrol music video.
*The two-disc special edition DVD ($36.95) and two-disc Blu-ray ($49.95) have more than six hours of bonus material including some well-done featurettes such as "Grains of Sand: Building Sandman," "Reimagining the Goblin," "Covered in Black: Creating Venom" and "Tangled Web: The Love Triangles of Spider-Man 3."
*"Fighting, Flying & Driving: The Stunts" helps us remember that, despite all the computer magic used in films today, actors and stunt people are still heavily involved in making the movies. It's eye-opening to see the actors flying across sound stages and locations on wires (about 90 percent of the movie stunts involved wires).
*"Spider-Man Trilogy" on DVD ($38.96) or Blu-ray ($98.95).
RATATOUILLE: Pixar's latest release serves up the laughs in this story of a rat who wants to be a gourmet chef. Extras include deleted scenes and a new animated short starring Remy and Emile. ($29.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray; Buena Vista. Available Tuesday.)