The vast number of sight gags and visual embellishments present in a Pixar movie makes multiple viewings necessary; as Monsters, Inc. co-director Pete Docter puts it, "We sand the undersides of the drawers." Did you notice how the red paint on the factory-floor bell has been worn away by its striker? Or catch the name of the sushi bar? (Answer: "Harryhausen's," in homage to animation pioneer Ray Harryhausen.) The double-disc Sept. 17 DVD release of last year's, uh, monster hit means you can now catch everything missed the first time around when you took your eyes off the screen to scrounge for that dropped Junior Mint.
Of course, anything labeled "Collector's Edition" means extras up the wazoo! No star wattage on the commentary track; instead, we hear from a quartet of the faceless creative brainiacs who infuse a digitally designed world with such spirit. Get trained in extracting the screams of children—the "fossil fuel of Monstropolis"—as a new hire at the M.I. plant and peruse its wacky employee handbook. Feel blown away at the awesome state of high-tech computer modeling in a few behind-the-scenes featurettes.
The best gimmes are the additional shorts: "For the Birds," the Oscar-winning, Chaplin-esque sketch seen before the theatrical release, and "Mike's New Car," a cute DVD exclusive. The must-sees, however, are the hysterical "outtakes" that have become a Pixar staple and, brilliantly, subvert the very nature of the blooper itself; what reads as a spontaneous 10-second "mistake" likely took a dozen rewrites and three weeks of production.
Also out now, Kissing Jessica Stein is a bright, winsome sapphic comedy. Fans of the BBC sitcom The Young Ones can now splurge on a three-disc set containing "every stoopid episode." With Naqoyqatsi arriving in theaters Oct. 25, its predecessors Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi are both hitting DVD. A sharp-eyed reader informs us that Nicolas Roeg's 1973 Don't Look Now has finally reached disc. More fanfare attends Panic Room, Abbas Kiarostami's The Wind Will Carry Us, and Hollywood Ending (no Woody commentary). Though it got no hoopla or a Seattle release, check out the deserving two-hander Spring Forward with Ned Beatty and Liev Schreiber.