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THE DVD FILE

It turns out that this Brit was a good fit to play 007

March 11, 2007|Susan King

The Life After 1: James Bond fans were very vocal when it was announced two years ago that Pierce Brosnan would no longer be sipping shaken martinis as super-suave James Bond in the 007 action-thriller "Casino Royale." And they got downright vehement when it was announced that blond, blue-eyed British actor Daniel Craig, who played toughies in such films as "The Road to Perdition" and "Layer Cake," would be given the license to kill.

But the naysayers had to eat their words after "Casino" was released last November. Craig was a tough, sexy Bond who was not afraid of using a defibrillator on himself after poison caused him to go into cardiac arrest. "Casino Royale" not only received some of the strongest reviews of any Bond film in recent memory, it broke the box office record for the 45-year-old franchise, taking in nearly $600 million worldwide, almost $160 million more than the previous Bond, 2002's "Die Another Day."

The best news of all: Even before the film was released, the producers signed Craig to do more Bond.

The 'Bosom' boys

The Life After 2: There are always those sad stories of TV actors who seemingly disappear from the face of the earth -- or end up doing a reality series on VH-1 -- after their series are canceled. But then there are the success stories -- performers who have gone from the small screen to stardom on the big screen, including Steve McQueen, James Garner, Bruce Willis, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, Jamie Foxx and Tom Hanks.

Hanks' ascendancy began rather inauspiciously in November 1980 with the ABC sitcom "Bosom Buddies," which makes its DVD bow Tuesday. At first glance, the show's guys-in-drag theme seemed no more than a cheesy rip-off of "Some Like It Hot." But it ended up being much more than that.

From the outset newcomers Hanks and Peter Scolari exuded remarkable comedic chemistry as Kip and Henry -- roomies who were co-workers in an advertising agency. After they were awoken one day in their apartment by a wrecking ball, the guys scrambled to find new digs.

The office receptionist (Wendy Jo Sperber), who happened to have a crush on Henry, told them about a cheap room for rent at her lodging, the Susan B. Anthony Hotel, which just happened to be an all-girls residence. So our heroes, enthused with the low rent and especially the thought of being surrounded by young women, transformed themselves into the rather husky Buffy and Hildegarde and moved into the digs.

Though the show lasted only two seasons, it developed a small but devoted following because of the leads' charm and comedic chops. NBC aired repeats of the show in 1984 after Hanks scored on the big screen in "Splash."

'Hazzard' ahead

Put up your Dukes: Just like a bad penny, "The Dukes of Hazzard" keeps turning up. The good-old-boy comedy-action series, which aired on CBS from 1979 to '85, has lived on and on and on in repeat heaven.

Two years ago, Warner Bros. produced the dreadful feature film version with Johnny Knoxville as Luke Duke, Seann William Scott as Bo Duke and Jessica Simpson as the shortshort-wearing Daisy Duke. But it did well enough at the box office for Warner Home Video to release on Tuesday an unrated and an R-rated version of the made-for-DVD prequel, "The Dukes of Hazzard -- The Beginning."

The movie, which premiered a week ago on ABC Family, stars Jonathan Bennett, Randy Wayne and April Scott as the teenage Dukes, who are sent to live with their Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson) in Hazzard county. The cousins find themselves in trouble when they try to run.

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-- Susan King

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