How to Spend $20
By Eric Hughes and Kim Hollis
May 19, 2009

That's a lot of pretty people.

Welcome to How to Spend $20, BOP's look at the latest DVDs to hit stores nationwide. This week: Anna Paquin drinks some blood, the town of Dillon continues its love affair with football, and Kevin James rides a Segway.

Pick of the Week

For people who think Anna Paquin makes a good blonde: True Blood: The Complete First Season

Who knew HBO still had it? Following the exits of its top series (Six Feet Under, Sex and the City, The Sopranos) the pay cabler took a gamble on Alan Ball's True Blood – which ultimately added life to the network's original programming slate, even if it's a show about the undead. Including repeat and on-demand viewings, the surprise hit is HBO's most-watched show since The Sopranos and Sex.

Marking fresh territory for a man like Ball (who typically opts for more serious fare – namely American Beauty and SFU), True Blood is campy and at times – dare I say it – a bit hokey. But it's addicting nonetheless.

What does it for me, at least, is Ball's creative influence on the show, which is based on a book series by Charlaine Harris. Instead of directly adapting Harris' story for the small screen, Ball adds deeper levels of meaning. Even more, the show managed to ends its freshman run in a place much greater than where it began.

I'm eager to see where things go in season two. It kicks off June 14th.

Disc includes: In Focus: Vampires in America mocumentary, Vampire Service Ads, Tru Blood Beverage Ads, Public Service Announcements, audio commentary

For people who are fans of Kyle Chandler's hair on Facebook: Friday Night Lights - The Third Season

Readers who have been faithfully following BOP will know that we've been huge fans of this show from the very beginning. Sure, on the surface it might appear to be just a high school drama, but it goes much, much further than that. It's really a show that revolves around the heartbeat of a small town in West Texas, and that heartbeat is football. We have the actual players on the team, who have their own trials, tribulations and triumphs, but we also get close to Coach Taylor and his wife Tammy, portrayed by Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. These two are really the backbone of the show, and everything ultimately flows from their relationship with each other and with the students at Dillon High School.

Along with Chandler and Britton, the other members of the cast are consistently amazing considering we're looking at a group of unknown actors with little experience. Taylor Kitsch has been able to parlay his success on the show to the biggest role, as he just played Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He's much better suited for Friday Night Lights, though. Portraying bad boy Tim Riggins, he embodies that character that everyone knew and loved/hated in high school. Other great acting turns come from Zach Gilford as QB Matt Saracen, Adrianne Palicki as Tyra Collette, Jesse Plemons as Landry Clarke, Gaius Charles as Smash Williams and Scott Porter as former QB Jason Street.

The storylines in Season 3 take the characters in new directions, and prove that the show is always willing to re-invent itself to some degree. We see some beloved characters depart, and some new names enter the fold, most notably a freshman quarterback phenomenon named J.D We also see the very real impact the economic downturn can have on a community such as this one, and expect to see that explored even more in Season 4. You know when you're fascinated by a character's father (Brad Leland as Buddy Garrity), that you have a show that is taking some chances and not going for the easy way out. Do yourself a favor and rent all three seasons if you've yet to watch. You'll be buying them soon afterward.

Disc includes: Deleted scenes, 13 minutes of a lost storyline from the season finale, audio commentary

For people who like to pretend to be wacked by a pick-axe: My Bloody Valentine 3-D (Special Edition)

Taking advantage of cinema's recent attraction to 3-D offerings, My Bloody Valentine 3-D opened to a respectable $24.1 million (over four days) on its way to about $51 million in domestic receipts. I don't usually spend too much time with horror flicks. However, I've added this one to my queue mainly because of its nearly fresh 59% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, which is pretty much bank as far as horror movies are concerned.

Though I gave its trailer a D in Trailer Hitch, audiences tended to disagree with me and instead warmed up to its storyline, which itself is adapted from a low budget Canadian slasher movie from the early 1980s. Here Jensen Ackles plays the lead, a man who is suspected of committing a series of murders in his hometown prior to the movie's events.

Disc includes: Audio commentary; Deep Inside My Bloody Valentine featurette; Sex, Blood and Screams featurette; deleted and extended scenes; gag reel; alternate ending

Audio Commentary with Director Patrick Lussier and Co-Writer Todd Farmer

For people who are surprised Kevin James beat Seth Rogen in his own game: Paul Blart: Mall Cop

In case you missed it, there have been not one, but two comedies about mall security guards this calendar year (so far!). And in case you missed it, it was Kevin James, not Seth Rogan who claimed the golden Segway at the box office. Whereas Observe and Report couldn't even break the $25-million barrier, Paul Blart opened to $31.8 million on its way to $146.1 million (and a probable franchise).

My idea for a sequel? Pitting James up against Will Arnett. Or better yet they could play partners in crime. Think about it. The funny man's already set with his personal people mover from his Arrested Development days. And with the TV show's new movie set to go in production in a little bit (woo!), his navigation can't be rusty.

Disc includes: Fun On Set featurette, Stunts featurette, deleted scenes

May 19, 2009
24: Season Seven
A Bug's Life
Changing Lanes
Circle Of Iron
DBZ: Fusion Reborn / Wrath of the Dragon
Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts
Driven to Kill
Eden Log
Enemy At The Gates
Fast Company
Lions for Lambs
The Machinist
My Bloody Valentine 3D
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Paycheck (Collector's Edition)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Special Edition)
Three Days Of The Condor
True Blood: The Complete First Season
Wrestlemania XXV

24: Season Seven
30 Rock: Season 1 & Season 2 (Side-By-Side)
8 Simple Rules: The Complete Second Season (Widescreen)
Battlestar Galactica Seasons 2.0 & 2.5 (Double Feature)
Bruce Springsteen: Road Trip 40 Years of the Boss
Caught On Tape: Complete Series (2-Disc Edition)
Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts
Driven to Kill
Eden Log
Flavor Flav: Live In Concert
The Matter of Angels & Demons
Paycheck (Collector's Edition)
Rick Springfield: Live & Kicking
Russell Brand: In New York City
Sister, Sister: The Second Season
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Special Edition)
Wrestlemania XXV