New home-video releases
AP Movie Writer
Martin Scorsese’s epic chronicle of the life of Howard Hughes ” which won five Academy Awards, including supporting actress for Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn ” lands on DVD with an enormous range of materials about the film and the reclusive millionaire. Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays Hughes, and co-star Alan Alda team for a live discussion of the film, while DiCaprio also joins Scorsese for a panel discussion. Along with a deleted scene and commentary by Scorsese, the set is loaded with featurettes examining the musical score, costumes, makeup and visual effects, plus an examination of obsessive compulsive disorder, from which Hughes suffered. The package also includes a History Channel profile of Hughes and background on his contributions to aviation.
Ice Cube struck out as an action hero in “XXX: State of the Union,” but he scored a solid hit as a family man in this road-trip comedy about a guy going to extremes to impress a new woman in his life (Nia Long). Cube plays a lovestruck man who volunteers to hit the highway with a single mom’s kids to try to win her heart ” only to find the wayward children have him in their crosshairs. Among the DVD extras are a deleted scene and bloopers, a tour of the sports-collectibles store featured in the movie, a making-of segment and commentary with director Brian Levant.
Three of last year’s action hits get DVD upgrades in a batch of well-stocked two-disc sets. Will Smith stars in the sci-fi tale “I, Robot,” a loose adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s robot stories, about a cop tracking a mechanical man he believes has committed murder. “The Day After Tomorrow” features Dennis Quaid as a climatologist and Jake Gyllenhaal as his son in a survival adventure set against a sudden ice age brought on by global warming. Denzel Washington is out for justice in “Man on Fire,” a thriller about a CIA burnout who’s hired to bodyguard a 9-year-old girl (Dakota Fanning), then goes on the warpath to find her kidnappers. Each set has commentary with the directors, writers and other collaborators, along with deleted footage and a huge range of behind-the-scenes segments.
Two classics from the 1940s and a solid drama from the ’50s come to DVD. The 1946 take on “Anna and the King of Siam” (later musicalized in “The King and I”) stars Irene Dunne as a British governess in 19th century Thailand who clashes and later bonds with her employer, the country’s willful monarch (Rex Harrison). “The Razor’s Edge,” also from 1946, features Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney and Anne Baxter in an adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s novel about a World War I vet unable to readjust to civilian life. “The Best of Everything,” from 1959,” has Hope Lange and Joan Crawford in a drama about the lives and loves of women working at a Manhattan publishing house.
The silent-film star whose career crashed and burned amid scandal gets a DVD retrospective with this four-disc set featuring 32 rare Arbuckle films that range from 1913 to 1932. Arbuckle was one of the silent era’s biggest stars until a rowdy cocktail party in 1921 that left an actress dead and the comedian accused of killing her. He was tried and acquitted three times, but the stigma kept him off screen until shortly before his death in 1933. The films collected here feature several of Arbuckle’s “Fatty and Mabel” comedies with Mabel Normand, along with appearances by Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton. The set has commentary with a group of film historians and a 36-page book of essays and background on Arbuckle.
“M-A-S-H: Season Eight” ” The Korean War lingers on for an eighth year among the surgeons and nurses of the 4077th. The season’s 25 episodes, packed on three discs, are highlighted by a two-parter signaling the departure of Gary Burghoff as company clerk Radar and a sober installment that intrudes on the war-torn dreams of the hospital staff.
“NewsRadio: The Complete First and Second Seasons” ” Dave Foley, Maura Tierney, Andy Dick and the late Phil Hartman lead the cast of the sitcom set at a wacky New York City radio station. The three-disc set has the first 29 episodes, with cast and crew commentary on 20 and a background featurette.
“The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Second Season” ” Sheriff Andy maintains his wise and witty watch over the tranquil burg of Mayberry, along with jittery Don Knotts as deputy Barney Fife and that little Ronny Howard as Opie. Season two’s 31 episodes come in a five-disc set.
“Chappelle’s Show: Season Two” ” The raw and raucous comedy show starring Dave Chappelle returns with a three-disc set featuring 13 episodes, whose highlights include a rumination on how the world might differ if President Bush had been born black. The set has bonus standup routines by Chappelle, deleted scenes and commentary by Chappelle and co-creator Neal Brennan.
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