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‘Basic Instinct 2’ slinks onto DVD

Also new: Season one of ‘Weeds,’ ‘30 Days’ and season three of ‘Reno 911’
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Basic Instinct 2”It took years of studio maneuvering for this sequel to Sharon Stone’s hit thriller to arrive and barely a single weekend for critics and audiences to laugh it out of theaters. With original co-star Michael Douglas a no-show, British actor David Morrissey has the misfortune of stepping into the role of dupe for Stone’s icy carnal predator, playing a criminal psychologist lured into her latest game of kinky sex with a body count. The DVD comes in the R-rated theatrical cut or an unrated edition that adds a couple of minutes of footage. The unrated disc also has 10 deleted scenes with more explicit, though not very titillating, sexual footage, and an alternate ending barely distinguishable from the theatrical version. Director Michael Caton-Jones provides droning commentary, and the DVD has a making-of featurette. DVD, $26.96. (Sony) Read the review

“Grand Prix”Exotic locales, razzle-dazzle camera work and speedy cars overshadow the big-name cast and the thin story in director John Frankenheimer’s fast and furious 1966 tale of Formula 1 drivers tearing up the roads — and sometimes their vehicles. James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand, Toshiro Mifune and Jessica Walter lead the cast in this soap opera on wheels, which follows the wins, losses and love affairs of a handful of drivers. For its 40th anniversary, the movie debuts on DVD in a two-disc set with a widescreen digital version well-suited to huge high-definition televisions. The set comes packed with four new documentary segments on the movie’s production and sound design, the state of Formula 1 racing in the 1960s and a raceway featured in the film. DVD set, $20.97. (Warner Bros.)

“Yi Yi”Taiwanese filmmaker Edward Yang spins a mesmerizing, epic-length drama of ordinary lives with his celebrated story of family life in Taipei from 2000. On the surface an intimate tale of everyday happenings on the domestic front over the course of a year, the film builds to a sprawling portrait of happiness, heartache and hidden desire. With its fresh digital transfer, the new DVD version represents a vast improvement over the so-so image of a previous release. Yang provides audio commentary, accompanied by critic Tony Rayns, who also contributes an interview about Taiwanese cinema. DVD, $39.95. (Criterion)

“Koko: A Talking Gorilla”The 1978 documentary from director Barbet Schroeder is a remarkable portrait of a non-human primate. The film tells the story of gorilla Koko, a resident of the San Francisco Zoo who was taught American Sign Language in an experiment to determine the cognitive abilities of apes. The documentary raises powerful questions about animal rights and the nature of intelligence, the captivating central figure bringing a real sense of human drama to the undertaking. The DVD has a new interview with Schroeder. DVD, $29.95. (Criterion)

TV on DVD:

No desperate housewife: Louise-Parker deals pot in suburbia on 'Weeds'
No desperate housewife: Louise-Parker deals pot in suburbia on 'Weeds'Darren Michaels / Showtime / Showtime

“30 Days” — Morgan Spurlock, director and star of the fast-food documentary “Super Size Me,” oversees the ultimate-makeover series, centering on people who spend a month living drastically different lives. The first six episodes come in a two-disc set, focusing on Spurlock and his fiancee scraping by on minimum-wage jobs, a devout Christian who tries to live as a Muslim, a homophobic Christian who moves in with a gay man and a mom who goes on a drinking binge to connect with her party-hearty teen daughter. DVD set, $26.98. (20th Century Fox)

“Perry Mason: Season 1 — Volume 1” — Court is back in session as Raymond Burr’s classic series comes to DVD. Burr plays defense attorney Mason, who takes on seemingly impossible cases and proves his clients’ innocence. The five-disc set has the first 19 episodes from the 1957-58 season. DVD set, $54.99. (Paramount)

“The Ellen Show: The Complete Series” — Following up on “Ellen,” her 1990s sitcom, Ellen DeGeneres starred in this short-lived comedy about a woman whose Internet company goes belly up, leaving her back in her hometown among quirky old relations and friends. All 18 episodes, including six that never aired, are packed in a two-disc set. DVD set, $29.95. (Sony)

“Bridezillas” — The reality show features brides gone wild, women driven to fiendish extremes to make sure every detail of their wedding day comes off as planned. A pair of two-disc releases feature seasons one and two, each containing eight episodes. DVD sets, $26.95 each. (Genius)

“Reno 911! The Complete Third Season” — The not-so-best-and-brightest of the Reno, Nev., sheriff’s force continue their misadventures in this spoof of cop-reality shows. The two-disc set has all 13 episodes from year three. DVD set, $26.99. (Paramount)

“I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete Second Season” — The genie in a bottle (Barbara Eden) and the astronaut in her life (Larry Hagman) return. All 31 episodes from season two of the 1960s sitcom are included in a four-disc set. DVD set, $39.95. (Sony)

“Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: Season 1 — Volume 2” — Richard Basehart and David Hedison starred in the 1960s sci-fi series about a nuclear submarine on fantastic journeys. The remaining 16 episodes from season one are packed in a three-disc set. DVD set, $39.98. (20th Century Fox)

“McCallum” — John Hannah stars as a British forensics pathologist solving grisly murders. A five-disc set has all nine installments of the crime drama about a team of investigators based at a hospital morgue in Jack the Ripper’s old stomping grounds. DVD set, $59.98. (Koch)

“Secrets of Archaeology” — The documentary series that aired on the History Channel examines the ancient worlds of Rome, Greece, Egypt and the Maya through the ruins left behind. All 27 episodes come in a six-disc set. DVD set, $89.98. (Koch)

Other new releases:

“Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story” — Director Michael Winterbottom reimagines Laurence Sterne’s raucous literary classic as a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a film crew shooting a movie adaptation of “Tristram Shandy.” Co-stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon offer commentary. DVD, $27.95. (HBO) Read the review

“On a Clear Day” — Peter Mullan and Brenda Blethyn star in a comic drama about a laid-off Scottish shipyard worker who tries to inject new meaning into his life — and reconnects with family and friends — when he attempts to swim the English Channel. DVD, $29.98. (Universal) Read the review