Sturges' film is a perfect mix of comedy and poignancy. Three of the best recent comedies overtly acknowledge their debt to "Sullivan" -- "Dr. T and the Women," "State and Main," and especially the Coens' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
The Criterion Collection's new DVD sports a crisp picture and plenty of supplements. The commentary track, featuring Sturges admirers Michael McKean and Christopher Guest ("Best in Show"), isn't as funny or as informative as it might be, but the disc's many documentaries and interviews more than make up for it.
-"X-Force: New Beginnings" In 1996, Marvel Comics was both financially and creatively bankrupt. Now the company is back on track, revamping title after title, bringing on writers and artists who made their names outside of mainstream comics. Writers like Grant Morrison ("The Invisibles") and Bob Gale (screenwriter of "Back to the Future") have reinvigorated the company's comics.
The cream of the cream is writer Peter Milligan and "Madman" pop artist Mike Allred's "X-Force." It's like "Making the Band" for superheroes. The idea is that a wealthy entrepreneur owns this glamorous group of mutant teen heroes, the way Jerry Jones owns the Dallas Cowboys. Except the Cowboys don't kill -- and get killed -- quite so much. The new "X-Force" isn't concerned with the morality of their often-lethal actions. They just want to sell official merchandise.
Jeremy Hurtz can be reached at email@example.com.
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