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Bob's Burgers: The Compete First Season

In an original demo pitched to Fox TV, the Bob's Burgers family were originally cannibals. So admits producer-creator Loren Bouchard in a documentary extra in this collection of all 13 episodes of the first season.

Fox liked the series, but politely requested: "Can they not be cannibals?" Another tweak: the character of Bob's eldest son got a gender change to eldest daughter Tina, with writer Dan Mintz (Important Things with Demetri Martin) providing nearly the identical voice for the character.

The result of all that tinkering is one of the better, more eccentric animated prime-time series to appear in a long time, incorporating lots of improvisational comedy (as opposed to the tightly scripted norm for animated series). Season highlights include Tina's capoeira moves in Sexy Dance Fighting, Bob's stint as a cab driver (and inadvertent transsexual hooker pimp) in Sheesh! Cab Bob? and Bob's adulation of the spaghetti western hero known as "Banjo" in Spaghetti Western and Meatballs. The Mike McDonald-esque song Lifting Up the Skirt of the Night from the cab driver episode gets its own cheesy music video on the extras menu. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö

Patton Oswalt: Finest Hour

ONE of the funniest comedians out there, Oswalt brings new personal experiences to the comedy concert-special table, including new fatherhood and minor movie stardom.

In the former capacity, he discusses how new-dad sleeplessness can result in hallucinations, a cheap and effective alternative to recreational drugs as Oswalt describes it.

Meanwhile, in the realm of his movie career, he hilariously recounts auditioning for the role of a "Gay Best Friend" in a Hollywood rom-com, a role he concisely summarizes thus: "I may as well put on blackface and tap dance, that's how old that cliché is now." To avoid the hackneyed "magical intelligent quip machine" of rom-com convention, Oswalt offers to portray "the first dumb gay best friend in the history of cinema," but alas, doesn't get the gig.

Oswalt's humour doesn't always quote as well as it sounds: He does a hilarious bit about singing and talking to himself in the car that defies transcription. Suffice it to say: This DVD is good for some major belly laughs. A DVD extra includes an encore bit in which Oswalt doubles down on KFC after his classic diss of the KFC Famous Bowl, which he once described as "a failure pile in a sadness bowl." 'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2

Contraband

ADAPTED from the modest 2008 Icelandic film Reykjavik-Rotterdam, this a standard tale of a former criminal obligated to return to his field of expertise for one last score. Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) is a former smuggler who must return to his law-breaking ways to save Andy (Caleb Landry Jones), the brother of his hot wife Kate (Kate Beckinsale). Andy is in trouble with ruthless drug kingpin Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi, extra scummy) and to save his life, Chris offers to make good by smuggling millions of dollars in counterfeit cash from Panama.

The movie lays on the complications. During a brief layover in Panama, Chris is roped into a heist. Back in New Orleans, Chris's family, supposedly safe under the protection of Chris's best friend Sebastian (Ben Foster, submitting another in a gallery of hangdog reprobates) is more endangered than ever.

In the writing, there is simply too much thrown in the mix.

Fortunately, there is sufficient novelty here. If the script is slightly below par, no one bothered to tell Wahlberg, who brings all his muscular sincerity to the project as if it was the perfectly logical followup to the critical hit The Fighter.

But of course, who is going to tell him otherwise? 'Ö'Ö 1/2

randall.king@freepress.mb.ca

 

1. We Bought A Zoo

2. The Iron Lady

3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

4. The Darkest Hour

5. The Sitter

6. The Descendants

7. Puss in Boots

8. Shame

9. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

10. A Dangerous Method

-- MTS Video on Demand, week ending April 22

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 26, 2012 E4

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