New on DVD: 'Showbusiness: The Road to Broadway' and 'Transformers'
A documentary peeks behind Broadway's curtains, a sci-fi blockbuster pits man against machine to entertaining effect.
Broadway fans will find Dori Berinstein's documentary the next best thing to a VIP backstage pass. In "ShowBusiness," she tracks the fortunes of four musicals that debuted in the 2003-04 season: "Avenue Q," "Wicked," "Taboo," and "Caroline, or Change," along with their performers and creative teams. The film celebrates Broadway's enduring appeal – despite high ticket prices and competition from other entertainment – but injects a cautionary note. Pop singer Boy George, reeling from the early closing of his musical, "Taboo," rebukes the New York critics: "If you put down shows like 'Taboo,' you'll have nothing but Andrew Lloyd Webber for the rest of your lives." Perish the thought. Grade: B+– April Austin
Frankly, a film spinoff of a line of Hasbro toys seemed like a dubious prospect to me. Especially when the toys are chameleon-like alien robots that adopt the guise of vehicles such as trucks, cars, and fighter jets. I was always more of an Erector set guy, anyway. But this blockbuster, in which two factions of robots do battle, is highly entertaining – if you don't stop to consider how silly it is. As a teen who buys a rusty Camaro that isn't what it seems, Shia LaBeouf is perfectly in tune with a playful tone akin to that of "Independence Day." Grade: B – Stephen Humphries