Sep. 2, 2012 at 12:39 PM ET
Things are fairly quiet in the entertainment world this Labor Day week, but leave it to the MTV Video Music Awards to liven things up.
TUESDAY: 'Mad Monster Party' on Blu-ray and DVD
Kids of the 1960s and 1970s love the Rankin/Bass stop-motion animation specials, and "Mad Monster Party" is a classic. The late Phyllis Diller and horror-movie legend Boris Karloff are among the voices, and all the classic childhood monsters -- including Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, the Werewolf, the Mummy, the Invisible Man and the Hunchback of Notre Dame -- are all invited. Redheaded bombshell Francesca was many a little boy's first crush back in the day. (Trivia: She's voiced by singer Gale Garnett, known for the hit "We'll Sing in the Sunshine.") Why was the special such a hit? Aside from the fact that TV offerings for kids were few and far between compared to today, the script was co-written and the characters designed by veterans of MAD Magazine. (On DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 4.)
THURSDAY: MTV Video Music Awards
Imma let you finish, Academy Awards, Grammys and Emmys, but Kanye West's Video Music Awards interruption was one of the best awards show scandals of all time. Something always happens at the VMAs. There's no predicting it -- who could have guessed that Kanye would break into Taylor Swift's acceptance speech, or Lady Gaga would wear meat, or Beyonce would reveal her baby bump? Speaking of Beyonce, she and Katy Perry each have four nominations, with Rihanna and Drake beating them out with five apiece. Green Day, Alicia Keys, Pink, LMFAO, Rihanna and yes, Taylor Swift, are scheduled to perform. The Olympic gold-medal gymnasts are among the presenters. (Sept. 6, 8 p.m., MTV.)
FRIDAY: 'The Words'
In "The Words," Bradley Cooper plays a young man who dreams of being a writer, but only makes it big when he steals a story belonging to another writer (Jeremy Irons). Of course, he can't keep that fact a secret, and must frantically struggle to keep his world from crashing down, all the while knowing it's built on a lie. The story is wrapped in the voice of a third writer (Dennis Quaid). Early reviews are mixed, but ComingSoon.net calls the film "a strong drama that may seem simple at first, but (is) likely to leave you wondering whether what you watched was real or whether the various stories were all just layers of fiction." (Opens Sept. 7.)