Digital Breakdown: Clever casting doesn’t equal ‘Smart People’ 

With a name like “Smart People,” you’d expect snappy dialogue and some intelligence, or at least a slapstick comedy accompanying the ironic title. “Smart People” is a conventional comedy with a bit of an independent film feel, but not as funny or clever as “Juno” or “Sideways.” It’s about a widowed professor (Dennis Quaid) who finds love again, with a character played by Sarah Jessica Parker, and is visited by his deadbeat brother-in-law (Thomas Hayden Church). The DVD has few extras. Price: $29.99 to $34.99. Rent or buy: Rent.

PRISON BREAK — SEASON THREE

Even though this show was cut short last season because of the writer’s strike, producers made the most of the situation. The adrenaline-filled season focused on escaping from a Panama prison as well a nefarious “organization” that framed Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) and Scofield (Wentworth Miller) in season one. It’s cool that Fox is issuing season three in Blu-ray as well as standard definition; it’s one of the few TV shows to get the treatment. Extras on the four-disc set include two featurettes, behind-the-scenes director’s takes and between-take interviews. Price: $49.98, standard definition; $79.98, Blu-ray. Rent or buy: Buy.

THE WIRE — THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON

HBO’s series never got the recognition it deserved while running parallel to “The Sopranos,” “Deadwood” and “Rome.” This final season deals with the role that a Baltimore newspaper plays in city politics, and how some big-city newspapers fail to address what’s really happening in the city — with grave consequences. The set includes a documentary on the state of media, a retrospective on the prior four seasons and audio commentaries. Price: $59.99 Rent or buy: Buy.

DC SUPER HEROES: THE FILMATION ADVENTURES

This set is an awesome revival of old cartoons from Filmation Associates. There are 18 classics starring the “Justice League of America” and “Teen Titans.” All boast the impressive animation presented by a studio known for producing quality material. The DVD includes a 45-minute documentary profiling the studio and its founder, Lou Scheimer. Price: $24.98. Rent or buy: Buy.

Other DVDs debuting today: “Belly” (Blu-ray), “The Legend of the Shadowless Sword,” “Legacy,” “CJ7,” “Wide Awake,” “South Park — The Complete Eleventh Season” and “Dave’s World — The First Season.”

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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