New DVD releases

January 3, 2008 12:41:09 PM PST
Selected home-video releases: "3:10 to Yuma"

Russell Crowe and Christian Bale bring the Western back to the big screen with class and style in this compelling remake of the 1957 Glenn Ford tale. Crowe stars as a flamboyant outlaw captured by the law, with Bale a financially ailing farmer who hires on to help escort the bad guy through rough country where they face threats from Indians and a gang of Crowe accomplices aiming to spring their boss. The DVD has deleted scenes, a handful of featurettes and commentary with director James Mangold. The Blu-ray high-definition release comes with those extras plus more detailed making-of segments, including a featurette on the effect of the railroad on 19th century America and a conversation with Elmore Leonard, whose short story was the basis for both films. DVD, $29.95' Blu-ray, $39.99. (Lionsgate) "Sunshine"

The end of the world is at hand in Danny Boyle's sci-fi saga set 50 years from now, when the sun is dying and a band of astronauts sets out on a daring last-gasp mission to re-ignite the fading star. Cillian Murphy leads an ensemble cast as the scientist who developed the bomb that the crew aims to deliver into the sun, with Michelle Yeoh, Cliff Curtis, Troy Garity and Rose Byrne co-starring as fellow space travelers. The DVD and Blu-ray releases have a huge batch of deleted scenes - including an alternate ending - all accompanied by commentary from director Boyle. Other extras include a collection of production-diary segments for the Web offering behind-the-scenes glimpses of the film. DVD, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.98. (20th Century Fox) "Zodiac: The Director's Cut"

David Fincher's very long dramatization about the 1970s serial slayer known as the Zodiac Killer grows even longer in this extended version that clocks in at nearly three hours. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a newspaper cartoonist obsessed with uncovering the identity of the killer, whose string of unsolved slayings terrorized the San Francisco area. Co-starring are Robert Downey Jr. as a newsman and Mark Ruffalo as a police detective also on the trail of the killer. The two-disc DVD and HD DVD high-definition sets have commentary with Fincher, Gyllenhaal, Downey and others, a feature-length documentary about the Zodiac case and a segment on a key suspect in the slayings. DVD set, $36.99; HD DVD, $39.99. (Paramount) --- TV on DVD:

"Two and a Half Men: The Complete Second Season" - Charlie Sheen returns as a guy trying to maintain his swinging bachelor lifestyle while sharing a home with his divorced brother (Jon Cryer) and 11-year-old nephew. The four-disc set has all 24 episodes from year two. DVD set, $44.98. (Warner Bros.)

"The Waltons: The Complete Sixth Season" - The Depression is coming to an end, but World War II looms for the wholesome Walton clan. Season six of the family drama arrives in a five-disc set with 22 episodes. DVD set, $39.98. (Warner Bros.)

"Gunsmoke: The Second Season, Volume 1" - James Arness is back as lawman Matt Dillon in the Western series that debuted in the 1950s and ran a phenomenal 20 seasons. The first half of year two comes in a three-disc set with 20 episodes. DVD set, $36.99. (Paramount)

"Lovejoy: The Complete Season Two" - Another Western TV star, Ian McShane of "Deadwood," previously played an antiques dealer who solved crimes on the side in the British series that debuted in the mid-1980s. A three-disc set has year two's 12 episodes, plus an interview with McShane. DVD set, $49.98. (BBC)

"MI-5: Volume 5" - The spy series centered on operatives of Britain's intelligence agency carries on with a five-disc set packing the fifth season's 10 episodes, with commentary on two and a sneak preview of season six. DVD set, $79.98. (BBC) Other new releases:

"Joshua" - Sam Rockwell and Vera Farmiga star in this creepy tale of a bad-seed child, playing parents to a precocious boy (Jacob Kogan) who begins to act out in subtle and sinister ways after his parents bring his new baby sister home from the hospital. DVD, $27.98. (20th Century Fox)

"Eagle Vs. Shark" - New Zealand gets the "Napoleon Dynamite" treatment in this weird romance among misfits whose tone bears great resemblance to that earlier independent hit. The film follows the misadventures of a boorish video-game geek (Jemaine Clement) and the fast-food employee (Loren Horsley) who inexplicably adores him. DVD, $29.99. (Miramax)

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