Originally created 02/03/05

New home-video releases



Here's a look at what's new in home DVD and video cassette releases, and a calendar of what's coming:

THE GRUDGE (SONY, $28.95): Sarah Michelle Gellar faces terror from beyond the grave without her Buffy the Vampire Slayer superpowers in this horror film based on a Japanese fright flick made by the same director, Takashi Shimizu. Ms. Gellar stars as an exchange student in Tokyo caught in the grip of a vengeful spirit centered on a house where bloody deeds occurred. Ms. Gellar collaborates with producer Sam Raimi and his brother, co-star Ted Raimi, on commentary. The DVD also has making-of features.

SHALL WE DANCE? (MIRAMAX, $29.99): The fluffy Richard Gere-Jennifer Lopez remake and the vastly superior Japanese version debut on DVD. Both films follow the lead of a successful but bored businessman who takes to dance class because of a fleeting infatuation with the beautiful instructor, only to find his ballroom stepping turns into a life-altering passion. Last year's remake comes with commentary from director Peter Chelsom on the full movie and deleted scenes, plus features on the film's music and the art of ballroom dancing. Predictably, the Japanese version is augmented only by a feature on the Hollywood remake.

CHEERS, FRASIER, TAXI (PARAMOUNT, $38.99 PER SET): Seasons four of the barfly sitcom Cheers and spinoff Frasier, plus year two of the cabbie comedy Taxi, arrive on DVD in four-disc packages. The sets carry no extras, just the shows, with 26 episodes of Cheers, 23 of Frasier and 24 of Taxi.

I LOVE LUCY: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON (PARAMOUNT, $54.99) Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel are back in a five-disc set packing year three's 31 episodes. The set also has flubs and "lost scenes," excerpts from the scripts, an audio feature and five episodes of Lucille Ball's radio show, My Favorite Husband.

OZ: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON (HBO, $64.98): Four years into its sentence, the stark prison drama remains as gutsy and compelling as ever. The season's 16 episodes come in a three-disc set, accompanied by commentary on two episodes with series creator Tom Fontana and co-stars Rita Moreno, Lee Tergesen and Dean Winters.

CHARMED: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (PARAMOUNT, $49.99): Three squabbling sisters (Shannen Doherty, Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs), who happen to be witches, learn to combine their divergent powers to kick butt in the supernatural world. The six-disc set has year one's 22 episodes.

SHE HATE ME (SONY, $24.96), SCHOOL DAZE (SONY, $19.94): The ups and downs of Spike Lee's career are reflected in last year's mishmash of sex and corporate satire, She Hate Me, and 1988's campus musical comedy School Daze. She Hate Me has DVD commentary by Mr. Lee and deleted scenes. The new DVD edition of School Daze has commentary with Mr. Lee and cast members.

Coming attractions

Just out: Ray, The Grudge, The Life, Mr. 3000, Mulan II, The Neighborhood, Shall We Dance, and Vanity Fair

Tuesday: Bright Young Things and The Notebook

Feb. 15: Control, The Motorcycle Diaries, National Lampoon's Blackball, Raise Your Voice and The Yes Men

Feb. 22: Suddenly

March 1: Exorcist: The Beginning, Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

March 8: Christmas With the Kranks, Ladder 49 and Woman Thou Art Loosed

March 15: Alfie, Being Ron Jeremy, Lucky 13, and Man of the Year

March 22: Being Julia and Finding Neverland

March 29: After the Sunset