Here's a look at recent releases in DVD and video and a calendar of what's coming:
BORN INTO BROTHELS (THINKFILM, $29.99): The 2004 Academy Award winner for feature-length documentary is an extraordinary portrait of bleak beauty and hope that emerges in the most miserable circumstances. Photographer Zana Briski, who co-directed with Ross Kauffman, had been living in Calcutta, India's red-light district, chronicling its hardships. She bonded with the children of the region's prostitutes, providing them with cameras that spur a creative drive in the youths, who begin to capture strikingly sublime images of their world. The documentary follows the children's efforts, with the director's help, to rise above the life into which they were born.
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (DISNEY, $59.99): Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Nicollette Sheridan lead the cast of suburban wives and moms whose home lives are anything but Leave It to Beaver. The six-disc set has the first 23 episodes, plus deleted scenes with commentary by series creator Marc Cherry. The actresses join Mr. Cherry for episode commentary, and the set packs a big range of behind-the-scenes segments.
THE OUTSIDERS: THE COMPLETE NOVEL (WARNER BROS., $26.99): Close on the heels of a new DVD version of Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish, adapted from S.E. Hinton's novel, comes an updated edition of another Coppola-Hinton collaboration. The 1983 coming-of-age tale set in 1960s Oklahoma has a big cast of young stars on the rise, among them Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, Patrick Swayze, Diane Lane, C. Thomas Howell and Rob Lowe. Mr. Coppola has fleshed out the theatrical version with an extra 22 minutes of footage intended to satisfy fans who wanted a more faithful rendering of the Hinton book. The two-disc set has an introduction and commentary by Mr. Coppola, and commentary with the co-stars.
MAJOR DUNDEE (SONY, $19.94): Sam Peckinpah had his 1965 Western starring Charlton Heston, Richard Harris and James Coburn yanked out of his hands by the studio and recut to an indifferent critical reception. This extended version adds 12 minutes of rescued footage intended to restore the film closer to the director's vision and clear up elements of the plot that were watered down in the shorter cut. The Civil War-era tale stars Mr. Heston as a Union officer who assembles a band of misfits to hunt Apaches in Mexico. Four Peckinpah experts team to provide DVD commentary, and the disc features a 20-minute excerpt from the documentary Passion & Poetry: The Ballad of Sam Peckinpah.
MALLRATS (UNIVERSAL, $26.98): Kevin Smith followed his independent hit Clerks with this 1995 comedy of anarchic youths in their natural habitat: the shopping mall. The movie features such Smith regulars as Jason Lee, Ben Affleck and Joey Lauren Adams, along with Shannen Doherty, in a story of mayhem and high jinks in the consumer world. The 10th-anniversary DVD has the original version plus an extended cut. Mr. Smith, Mr. Affleck, Mr. Lee and others provide commentary, and the DVD features an interview with Mr. Smith, a question-and-answer session with cast and crew and the filmmakers' recollections on making the movie.
WALLACE & GROMIT IN THREE AMAZING ADVENTURES (DREAMWORKS, $19.99): With cheese-loving Wallace and his faithful dog Gromit set to hit the big screen in October, their three short films originally made for British television return to DVD. Included are A Close Shave, The Wrong Trousers and A Grand Day Out, plus a sneak peek at the feature film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
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