DVD releases



THE PLOT: Sarah Michelle Gellar returns for a small role in this follow-up to her horror hit, which stars Amber Tamblyn as her sibling, sent to Japan to find out what's up with her hospitalized big sis after the fiery finale of the first flick. The sequel tracks Ms. Tamblyn and a disparate group of people from Tokyo to Chicago, all inexplicably haunted by the same creepy little spirits from the original movie.

EXTRAS: The DVD comes in the PG-13-rated theatrical version or in an unrated edition that adds about six minutes of footage. Both DVD editions have deleted scenes and a couple of features, including one on director Takashi Shimuzu, who also created the Japanese franchise on which The Grudge movies are based. The unrated DVD also has an introduction from producer Sam Raimi.

THE BASICS: $28.95. (Sony)


THE PLOT: This ho-hum horse tale, an update of Mary O'Hara's classic family novel My Friend Flicka, stars Alison Lohman as a spirited teen who bucks the wishes of her father (Tim McGraw), fighting to stay on the family ranch rather than follow his desire that she get out of Dodge and find something else to do with her life. Her main preoccupation is trying to domesticate a wild mustang that her dad brands too crazy to be tamed.

EXTRAS: Deleted scenes, a blooper reel, a behind-the-scenes feature and the music video for the sappy tune country star Mr. McGraw sings over the closing credits.

THE BASICS: $29.98. (20th Century Fox)


THE PLOT: Annette Bening leads a terrific cast that includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Alec Baldwin, Brian Cox, Jill Clayburgh and Evan Rachel Wood in an adaptation of author Augusten Burroughs' chronicle of his youth. Joseph Cross stars as Mr. Burroughs, whose delusional mother (Ms. Bening) splits with her boozy hubby (Ms. Baldwin) and sends the youth to live with a seemingly deranged psychiatrist and his family.

EXTRAS: Cast interviews, a segment on set design and a chat with the real Mr. Burroughs.

THE BASICS: DVD $26.96; Blu-ray disc, $38.96. (Sony)


THE PLOT: Writer-director Michel Gondry's visually inventive romance examines the strange nether region between sleeping and waking life where a hopeful yet hesitant young artist spends his days and nights. Gael Garcia Bernal stars as a man with new job designing calendars that turns out to be unfulfilling drudge work, whose vivid dream life - where he's the star of his own makeshift TV fantasy - begins to spill over into reality, including his fitful pursuit of the girl next door (Charlotte Gainsbourg).

THE BASICS: DVD, $27.95. (Warner Bros.)


WHAT YOU GET: Mr. Murphy's raucous, profane 1983 standup special finally comes to DVD, accompanied by five minutes of unreleased footage and a new interview with the performer.

THE BASICS: $19.98. (Entertainment Studios)


WHAT YOU GET: A straight-to-DVD release gives the Disney animated classic an It's a Wonderful Life makeover. Cinderella learns what the world would be like if she never became a princess after her wicked stepmother turns back time and undos her big prom night.

THE BASICS: $29.99. (Disney)


JUST OUT: After Innocence, Boynton Beach Club, Disaster! The Movie, The Grudge 2, Heading South, Hollywoodland, Peaceful Warrior, Rising Along for Thousands of Miles

COMING TUESDAY: Cave of the Yellow Dog, Half-Cocked, Half Nelson, The Marine, The U.S. vs. John Lennon

FEB. 20: Man of the Year, The Prestige, Shut Up and Sing

FEB. 27: Conversations With God, Harsh Times, Stranger Than Fiction, Tideland



Night at the Movies

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