Originally created 07/06/06

New DVD releases

New DVD releases include:

THE MATADOR: Former James Bond Pierce Brosnan proves he's far more than just Agent 007 in this taut black comedy about a burned-out hit man whose life depends on his completing one final job. Mr. Brosnan's a marvel of world-weary charm as an assassin on the outs with his employers who finds a connection to the real world when he insinuates himself into the lives of a financially troubled salesman and his wife (Greg Kinnear and Hope Davis). Along with 11 deleted scenes, the DVD has two commentaries featuring Mr. Brosnan, Mr. Kinnear and writer-director Richard Shepard. The disc also has a making-of featurette.

DOCURAMA FILM FESTIVAL: Docurama, one of the premiere documentary labels, offers a rush of real-life stories in its first home-video "film festival," aimed at bringing movies that don't make it to the multiplex into viewers' living rooms. The 10 titles include the Academy Award-winning Broken Rainbow, the story of Navajo Indians forced off their land amid energy exploration, and three other Oscar-nominated films: Sister Rose's Passion, about a nun battling anti-Semitism; Legacy, the chronicle of a family in Chicago's housing projects determined to pull itself out of poverty; and Doing Time: Life Inside the Big House, an unflinching look at the realities of prison. The other six releases are the foster-care study Aging Out; The Fire Next Time, a portrait of a Montana town at crossroads; Omar & Pete, the tale of two ex-cons trying to go straight; The Police Tapes, a look at the world of New York beat cops; the labor-union narrative The Wobblies; and Full Frame Documentary Shorts: Vol. 4, a collection of six short documentaries.

RICHARD THOMPSON: 1000 YEARS OF POPULAR MUSIC: It started with folk-rock icon Mr. Thompson deciding to call Playboy's bluff in 1999, when the magazine asked him and other musicians for their picks of the millennium's 10 best songs. Mr. Thompson sensed Playboy really wanted only recent songs recognizable to modern readers, but he did a true best-of-the-millennium list that went back centuries. His list wasn't among those published, but it gave Mr. Thompson the idea to begin his 1000 Years of Popular Music live shows. This set captures one of those concerts, with Mr. Thompson tearing through 22 songs that include a 15th century ballad, the 19th century traditional tune Shenandoah, Cole Porter's Night and Day, the Merseybeat pop hit Friday on My Mind and Britney Spears' Oops! ... I Did It Again. Along with the DVD, the set includes the performance on two CDs. This is clever stuff and great music by one of the most passionately energetic and drolly funny performers around.

DR. WHO: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON: Christopher Eccleston stars in the title role of this new incarnation of the venerable British sci-fi series about a time-traveling, space-faring scientist and a shopgirl who wander the cosmos fighting aliens, zombies and other menaces to Earth. A five-disc set packs the first 13 episodes, along with cast and crew commentary, interviews and making-of segments.

CHARLIE'S ANGELS: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON: Crimefighting angels Jaclyn Smith, Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd carouse through more sexy detective stories, with departed angel Farrah Fawcett reprising her role in three guest appearances. Season three's 24 episodes come in a six-disc set.

THE DEAD ZONE: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON: Anthony Michael Hall, the guy with the sixth sense for doom and gloom, resumes his psychic ways, using his visions to help people out of impending calamity. The three-disc set has all 11 episodes from season four, plus a bonus Christmas episode aired last year, deleted scenes and commentary.


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