Rock [1996]

Director: John Schwartzman, Michael Bay
Stars: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer, David Morse
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 136 minutes

Season three of the cult comedy sitcom 3rd Rock From the Sun has been delivered to Earth in a fancy box set comprising twenty-seven episodes of the TV show plus zany bonus material such as a colorful booklet entitled, A Guide To Living On Earth. Four DVDs further showcase the Solomon family, alien outcasts who have been sent to Earth to investigate human concerns. Equipped with the ability to feel human emotions but lacking the knowledge of how to handle them, 3rd Rock's Dick (John Lithgow), Sally (Kristen Johnson), Harry (French Stewart), and Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), take instructions from leader, Big Giant Head, but are often left to make sense out of chaos, creating settings for optimal comic effect. Masterfully written by co-creators Bonnie and Terry Turner (That 70s Show), 3rd Rock's original combination of smart wit and slapstick comedy is still hilarious ten years after the show's inception. The third season delves into core human experiences, namely love and fear. In a two-part episode kicking off the season, Dick is assigned a wife (Rosanne Barr) by Big Giant Head, disrupting his plan to marry his true love, human and co-star, Mary Albright (Jane Curtin). During a series of rude awakenings occurring over several episodes, Dick learns in trial-by-fire fashion that human trust isn't easily won back, as Mary repeatedly rejects his apologies for not confessing his secret. Subplots about Dick's attraction to Venusians and his hookup with a human woman (Auto Erodicka) temper his heartbreak with whimsical commentary on humankind's sexual nature. Highlights include the Halloween special "Scaredy Dick," in which the cast dress up, and Dick goes as a pirate to disguise his fear of getting a doctor's check-up. Also brilliant is "Just Your Average Dick," featuring a cameo appearance by John Cleese, who shows the aliens that there's more to being human than simply fitting in. --Trinie Dalton

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