New on DVD: ‘Into the Wild,’ ‘Mr. Magorium,’ ‘101 Dalmatians’
AP Movie Writer
Sean Penn directs a film with a tragic end that still somehow comes off as a hopeful and inspiring story.
Adapting Jon Krakauer’s book, Penn chronicles the real-life story of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch), a fiercely idealistic college graduate who turned his back on his family and privileged upbringing and hit the road on a spiritual quest that ended in disaster in Alaska.
The film, which earned a supporting-actor nomination for Hal Holbrook at the Academy Awards, comes in a two-disc DVD set or in HD DVD high-definition format, accompanied by background segments on the story and characters.
Dustin Hoffman plays the title role in this Willy Wonka wannabe, a family tale centered on a wild-haired, 243-year-old eccentric who runs a magical toy store where anything can happen.
The action is set in motion when Hoffman’s Mr. Magorium decides it’s time for him to leave this world, so he turns over the store to his protege (Natalie Portman), who’s forced to find her inner child and regain the whimsy and creativity needed to run a shop where magic and fantasy are the ruling order. The DVD and Blu-ray high-definition disc feature a handful of behind-the-scenes segments spotlighting the characters and the actors behind them, along with writer-director Zach Helm.
Disney finally looses the hounds from its vaults. Previously available in a single-DVD release that’s long out of print, the animated classic is back in a two-disc set loaded with extras.
The 1961 tale follows the adventures of a Dalmatian mom and pop who have 99 pups ” their litter winding up abducted by the villainess Cruella De Vil, who intends to skin them for her latest fur coat.
Cruella’s the focus of some of the DVD set’s extras, among them a featurette on the evil woman and a new music video of the tune that bears her name, performed by Disney Channel star Selena Gomez.
The set also has deleted songs, trivia about the film and a collection of correspondence between Walt Disney and Dodie Smith, whose book inspired the movie.
Romance-on-the-high-seas became a weekly ritual with the 1977 debut of the show that spun tales of love among the passengers of a luxury liner. Gavin MacLeod, Lauren Tewes, Bernie Kopell, Ted Lange and Fred Grandy led the regular cast of the show, whose first 12 episodes come in a three-disc package.
Tom Selleck is back for his final season as the Hawaiian private detective with the laid-back style. The three-disc set has the final 13 episodes of the 1980s series, plus an episode of “The Rockford Files” with a Selleck guest spot that led to his own crime show.
Hayden Christensen, Jessica Alba and Terrence Howard star in a thriller about a man who remains unexpectedly conscious during heart surgery and overhears his wife’s plan to kill him. The DVD has deleted footage and commentary with director Joby Harold.
Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro star in a stark drama of a wife and mother coping with the violent death of her husband, who finds comfort in a complicated friendship with her spouse’s old pal, a drug addict trying to start a new life of his own. Extras include deleted scenes.
Henry Fonda is the voice of reason and restraint in Sidney Lumet’s classic court drama about a jury that’s almost, but not quite, unanimous in voting to condemn a youth in a murder trial. The 1957 film returns in a 50th-anniversary edition featuring making-of featurettes.