New on DVD today
February’s Academy Awards became Coen country as two of the most innovative American storytellers graduated from cinema oddballs to Hollywood mainstream.
Joel and Ethan Coen’s crime thriller dominated with four Oscars: best picture, directing, adapted screenplay and supporting actor for Javier Bardem.
Adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s novel, the film follows the aftermath of a drug deal gone bloodily bad in the west Texas desert as a wily cowboy (Josh Brolin) makes off with a satchel of cash and is pursued by both a relentless killer (Bardem) and a world-weary sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones).
The DVD and Blu-ray high-definition disc come with three featurettes, including a segment with cast and crew singing effusive praises for the Coens and another examining the brothers’ single-minded collaborative process.
Jerry Seinfeld’s animated comedy is sweetened with a huge load of extras. With his first major project since his TV sitcom went off the air, Seinfeld served as writer and voice star in the tale of a bee that sues humanity for profiting off the honey his species toils to produce.
The movie comes in a single-disc DVD edition with a handful of featurettes or fully packed two-disc DVD and HD DVD versions whose extras include alternate endings and discarded scenes, commentary with Seinfeld and his collaborators, a segment on the vocal cast that included Renee Zellweger and Chris Rock and a look at Seinfeld’s promotional trip to the Cannes Film Festival, where he put on a bee costume and jumped off an eight-story hotel on a cord.
Steve Carell’s a widower doing his best as an advice columnist with three daughters and lousy timing when romance comes calling: Attending a family reunion, he falls for a woman (Juliette Binoche) who turns out to be the new girlfriend of his brother (Dane Cook).
The movie is accompanied by deleted scenes with commentary from writer-director Peter Hedges, who also provides commentary for the full flick.
There also are outtakes, a making-of featurette and a segment with songwriter Sondre Lerche, who created the music.
Timothy Olyphant stars in an action thriller adapted from the video game, playing a genetically engineered assassin hired to take out criminal masterminds and ending up on the run as an Interpol agent (Dougray Scott) and the Russian military pursues him throughout eastern Europe. The movie is available in single-disc releases with the R-rated theatrical movie or an unrated edition, or in two-disc DVD and Blu-ray sets with the unrated version. Among the extras are deleted scenes and an alternate ending, a gag reel and segments on the weaponry used in the movie. Single-disc DVD, $29.98; two-disc DVD set, $34.98; two-disc Blu-ray set, $39.98. (20th Century Fox)
The queen of teen detectives returns with Hollywood’s latest adventure inspired by author Carolyn Keene’s mysteries for young readers.
Emma Roberts, daughter of Eric and niece of Julia, stars as the old-fashioned, plaid-skirted Nancy, who clashes with the hip crowd in Hollywood as she adjusts from her small-town life while trying to solve the death of a legendary screen starlet.
The DVD is available in widescreen or full-screen formats, with the movie accompanied by a gag reel, a music video and a handful of behind-the-scenes segments.
Freddie Highmore stars in the title role, playing an orphaned music prodigy on a magical quest to New York City in search of the parents (Keri Russell as a classically trained cellist and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as an Irish rocker) he senses are still out there somewhere.
Robin Williams co-stars as a street musician and Terrence Howard plays a social worker at the kid’s orphanage. The DVD and Blu-ray releases include deleted scenes. An HD DVD release follows on April 1.
The gang (Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge and Claudia Black) from the long-running sci-fi series “Stargate SG-1” reunites for its first straight-to-DVD release.
The movie-length adventure continues where the show left off, with the galaxy-hopping team searching for a weapon to defeat Earth’s latest menace, a race of all-powerful zealots called the Ori. Co-star Judge joins director Robert C. Cooper for commentary, and the DVD also has three featurettes.
L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” gets a modern makeover, with Zooey Deschanel starring as the grownup Dorothy whose journey over the rainbow lands her in the company of a half-wit (Alan Cumming), a psychic man-lion (Raoul Trujillo) and an ex-cop named Tin Man (Neal McDonough) as they battle an evil witch (Kathleen Robertson).
The crime miniseries follows the investigation of a young mother who vanished from her car and the subsequent disappearance of her children. The five-part series comes in a two-disc set.
Clarence Williams III, Peggy Lipton and Michael Cole return as a team of undercover detectives for the hippie age in the crime series that debuted in the late 1960s. The final 13 episodes of year one are included in a four-disc set.
The 1960s and ’70s anthology comedy series about romantic misadventures is back with a three-disc set packing the last 12 episodes from the second season.
The former “Monty Python” troupe member goes globe-trotting again, this time wandering throughout lands once locked behind the Iron Curtain in the Soviet Union days. The three-disc set has all seven episodes of the documentary series.
Michael Caine takes on the role played by Laurence Olivier in the 1972 original and Jude Law steps into Caine’s original part in director Kenneth Branagh’s stripped-down update of the dark comedy about an aging crime author who initiates a war of mind games with the young playboy having an affair with his wife.
Law co-stars with Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman in this 1997 sci-fi tale set in a future world of genetically engineered perfection where a flawed ordinary mortal masquerades as a biological superman so he can join the space program.