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Film review: 14th season of 'Simpsons' out on Blu-ray

Published: Friday, Dec. 16 2011 5:43 p.m. MST

The latest "Simpsons" Blu-ray set leads these TV shows that have just been released on home video.

"The Simpsons: The Fourteenth Season" (Fox/Blu-ray, 2002-03, three discs, $59.98). Season 14 of the popular animated series has many very funny episodes, although it is sometimes snubbed by fans for being somewhat lackluster.

But you have Homer going to a fantasy rock 'n' roll camp (with guest voices by Mick Jagger, Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravitz, Tom Petty, Keith Richards and Brian Setzer), Flanders dating a movie star (voiced by Marisa Tomei), and Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa as themselves in an episode that focuses on the Simpsons' dog, Santa's Little Helper.

For a show that's been on as long as this one (now in its 23rd season), it's amazing how well it holds up, and for me, Season 14 is no exception.

Extras full frame, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, introduction, audio commentaries, featurettes, bonus "Treehouse of Terror" episodes (also on DVD, $49.98)

"Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special" (Fox/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy, 2011, three discs, $14.99). Cute TV holiday special with the "Ice Age" cartoon characters voiced by the feature-film cast — Ray Romano and friends — as the gang heads to the North Pole to get square with Santa.

Extras widescreen, trailer, music video

"Switched at Birth: Volume One" (ABC Family, 2011, two discs, $29.99). As the title suggests this teen-oriented series is about two newborn girls who went home with the wrong parents. One grew up rich and the other, who has lost her hearing, not so much. As teens they are brought together and how the two families take to each other, including how people respond to those who are hearing-impaired, is handled with intelligence and wit.

Extras widescreen, 10 episodes, trailers; iPod Skins

"Spin City: The Complete Sixth Season" (Shout! 2001-02, four discs, $29.93). Charlie Sheen's second season as Michael J. Fox's replacement in this workplace sitcom set in the New York mayor's office is also the series' last — and, happily, Fox returns for the first three episodes. Heather Locklear co-stars and other guests in multiple episodes include Queen Latifah, Farrah Fawcett, Sheen's then-wife Denise Richards and Olivia d'Abo.

Extras full frame, 22 episodes

"Gunsmoke: The Fifth Season, Volume 2" (CBS/Paramount, 1960, three discs, b/w, $42.99). James Arness, Dennis Weaver, Amanda Blake and Milburn Stone return for more showdowns in Dodge City. Guests include Richard Chamberlain, Lee Van Cleef and Jack Elam.

Extras full frame, 19 episodes

"Vietnam in HD" (History/Blu-ray, 2011, two discs, $34.95). Thirteen vets tell their stories against the backdrop of newly collected color footage of the Vietnam War gathered from home movies as well museum and government collections. Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") narrates and voiceovers are provided by Blair Underwood, Jennifer Love Hewitt, etc. Produced by the makers of "WWII in HD."

Extras full frame, six episodes (also on DVD, $24.95)

"Swamp People: Season Two" (History, 2011, four discs, $24.95). Gator hunters Troy and Junior return for a second season of this reality show, in which they like to catch their prey bare-handed and live off the land, thanks to an abundance of frogs, squirrels and raccoons.

Extras widescreen, deleted scenes

"Looney Tunes Super Stars: Pepe Le Pew" (Warner, 1945-62, $19.97). The French skunk in Paris pursues romance with reluctant kitties in these delightful theatrical cartoons, one of which won an Oscar. This could be called "The Complete Pepe," as it is comprised of all his starring shorts, as well as a Tweety & Sylvester cartoon in which Pepe has a cameo.

Extras full frame/widescreen, 17 cartoons

EMAIL: hicks@desnews.com

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