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‘Cinderella Man’ jumps into the DVD ring

Also new: ‘Dukes of Hazzard,’ ‘The Fantastic Four’ and season four of ‘24’
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Cinderella Man”
The summer’s class act from director Ron Howard languished in theaters this summer. The studio is hoping Academy Awards season will hook the DVD up with viewers that missed the film. Howard reunites with his “A Beautiful Mind” star Russell Crowe for the inspiring tale of Depression-era boxer Jim Braddock, who rebounded from the hardest of times for a shot at the heavyweight title against Max Baer. The film is available as a single DVD or a two-disc set loaded with extras and accompanied by a booklet with background on Braddock and photo cards from the movie. On both DVD editions, Howard provides commentary for the full film and deleted scenes, while extras in the two-disc set are highlighted by a glimpse of Crowe’s boxing regimen as he trained for the role at his home in Australia. Single DVD, $29.98; two-disc set, $44.98. (Universal) Read the review

“Fantastic Four”

NI-SS1 The FANTASTIC FOUR are (left to right): Chris Evans (as The Human Torch), Michael Chiklis (The Thing), Jessica Alba (The Invisible Woman) and Ioan Gruffudd (Mr. Fantastic). Photo Credit: Nels Israelson TM and © 2004 Twentieth Century Fox. All rights reserved. Not for sale or duplication. Fantastic Four character likeness TM and © 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.

The movie that proves anyone can be a superhero — with a trip to space and a blast of cosmic radiation — also proved that big, dumb action flicks still can become summer hits. The Marvel Comics adaptation stars Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans as four astronauts who gain super-strength, flexibility, invisibility and other powers after a space accident, which also mutates a megalomaniac (Julian McMahon) into a super-villain and the good guys’ archrival. All five stars team for audio commentary, and the DVD has deleted scenes, interviews and behind-the-scenes segments. Producer Avi Arad, who heads Marvel’s studio operations, also offers a look at the next “X-Men” movie. DVD, $29.98. (20th Century Fox) Read the review

“The Dukes of Hazzard”

The good old Duke boys, cousin Daisy and Boss Hogg on the big screen. Now that’s creativity, Hollywood-style. Based on the TV show, the movie stars Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville as the Dukes, Jessica Simpson as Daisy, and Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse, with the boys revving up their red Dodge Charger to save the family farm from bad guy Hogg (Burt Reynolds). The DVD is available in the PG-13 theatrical version or an unrated edition that adds some nudity and crudity. Extras include deleted scenes and featurettes on such important matters as the boys’ car, the General Lee, and Daisy’s really short shorts, along with Simpson’s music video for “These Boots Are Made for Walking.” DVD, $28.98. (Warner Bros.) Read the review

“Shoot the Piano Player”
Previously available in a bare-bones release, Francois Truffaut’s classic 1960 homage to American mob flicks finally gets the DVD treatment it deserves. Charles Aznavour is marvelous as a former highbrow musician now tickling the ivories in a sleazy Parisian joint who gets himself involved with gangsters and murder. Truffaut’s cinematographer, Raoul Coutard, supervised the film’s restoration and digital transfer and is featured in interviews along with Aznavour and co-star Marie Dubois reflecting on their experiences and the movie’s legacy. The late Truffaut is seen in archival documentary segments, and the set has a booklet with a Truffaut interview. DVD set, $39.95. (Criterion)

“Walt Disney Treasures”More goofy times with Donald Duck lead the latest crop of four collectible two-disc sets from the Disney vaults. “The Chronological Donald: Volume 2, 1942-46” features short cartoons starring the incomprehensible duck. “The Adventures of Spin and Marty” offers the first season from 1955 of the series about two boys at summer camp that aired on “The Mickey Mouse Club.” “Disney Rarities: Celebrated Shorts, 1920s-1960s” collects such Disney short films as a 1920s “Alice in Wonderland” series and Oscar-winning cartoons. “Elfego Baca and The Swamp Fox: Legendary Heroes” presents TV episodes from Disney’s vintage series about two heroes from history. The sets come in embossed metal cases, and each features introductions by film critic Leonard Maltin. DVD sets, $32.99 each. (Disney)

TV on DVD:

“The West Wing: The Complete Fifth Season” — President Martin Sheen copes with second-term crises, including a slumping economy, a government shutdown and his daughter’s kidnapping, which prompts his temporary abdication to the House speaker (John Goodman). The six-disc set has 22 episodes, plus commentary and deleted scenes. DVD set, $59.98. (Warner Bros.)

“24: Season Four” — You think your work day is long? Kiefer Sutherland’s latest 24-hour nightmare has him battling new terrorists and tracking the abducted defense secretary. Along with 24 episodes, the seven-disc set has 39 deleted scenes and a segment that serves as a prequel to season five, debuting in January. DVD set, $69.98. (20th Century Fox)

“The Rockford Files: Season One” — James Garner’s laid-back private eye lives on in a three-disc set packing the first 23 episodes from the series that debuted in 1974. The set includes reminiscences with Garner about the show. DVD set, $39.98. (Universal)

“Everybody Loves Raymond: The Complete Fifth Season” — Ray Romano returns as the sportswriter with the wacko family in a five-disc set with year five’s 25 episodes, plus deleted scenes and commentary by Romano and others. DVD set, $44.98. (HBO)

“Jackass: The Box Set” — Johnny Knoxville and his prankster colleagues pull off insane — often painful — stunts and gags in a four-disc set compiling the MTV series’ most absurd moments. DVD set, $56.99. (Paramount)

“Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica — The Final Season” — The honeymoon finally ends for Jessica Simpson and hubby Nick Lachey as their reality series on the highlights and low points of their marriage finishes its run. The two-disc set has 10 episodes. DVD set, $26.99. (Paramount)

“Roseanne: The Complete Second Season” — Roseanne Barr and John Goodman are back as blue-collar parents in the sit-com that blended great humor and real-life troubles. Year two’s 24 episodes come in a four-disc set. DVD set, $39.98. (Anchor Bay)

“M*A*S*H: Season Nine” — The Korean War drags on for Alan Alda and his zany colleagues at a mobile field hospital. The three-disc set has season nine’s 20 episodes. DVD set, $39.98. (20th Century Fox)