“Batman Begins”As if Heath Ledger’s death and the inherent interest from rabid fans weren’t enough to fan Batman mania for “The Dark Knight,” the studio feeds the flames with a new DVD release and the Blu-ray high-definition debut of the 2005 hit film. Christian Bale stars as Bruce Wayne, the rich guy who moonlights as a masked vigilante with a tortured soul, in Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed superhero tale. With the “Dark Knight” sequel hitting theaters July 18, the first flick returns in two-disc DVD and single-disc Blu-ray gift sets. Highlighting the Blu-ray extras is the “Dark Knight” prologue, the first six minutes of the new film, in which Ledger’s Joker and a team of thieves in clown masks pull off a wild bank heist. Other bonus materials include a 32-page DC Comics adaptation of the movie prologue and five Batman postcards. The movie also is available as a basic Blu-ray release. DVD gift set, $39.92; Blu-ray gift set, $49.99; basic Blu-ray release, $28.99. (Warner Bros.) Read the review.
Also on the Batman front from Warner Bros. are seasons five of the animated shows “The Batman” and its cousin “Teen Titans” (DVD sets, $19.98 each), and the animated movie “Batman: Gotham Knight” (single-disc DVD, $19.98, two-disc DVD set, $29.98, Blu-ray release, $34.99).
“Superhero Movie”And of course someone eventually was going to merge Hollywood’s craze for superhero flicks and movie spoofs. This standard-issue spoof features Drake Bell, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Nielsen, Jeffrey Tambor and Pamela Anderson in the comic tale of a teen who’s bitten by a mutant dragonfly (Spidey already laid claim to arachnids, you see) and gains superpowers, dons goofy tights and heads out to save the world. The movie is available in the theatrical version or an extended cut, with DVD extras that include deleted scenes, an alternate ending, behind-the-scenes segments and commentary with director Craig Mazin and producers David Zucker and Robert K. Weiss. DVD, $29.95 (Genius)
After a turn in Clint Eastwood’s ensemble World War II tale “Flags of Our Fathers,” Ryan Phillippe stars in a drama about contemporary combat, playing an Iraq war veteran who gets a “stop-loss” order — the U.S. military’s policy of pressing troops back into service after their original stint is up. Directed by Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don’t Cry”), the film co-stars Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Timothy Olyphant, Abbie Cornish and Ciaran Hinds. The DVD has a large batch of deleted scenes, a making-of featurette and commentary with Peirce. DVD, $29.99. (Paramount) Read the review.
“The Ruins”Rather than going to the beach for spring break like everyone else, a group of hapless young tourists decide to visit the jungles of Central America, where an ancient terror awaits them among the Mayan ruins. The cast of this fright flick includes Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Shawn Ashmore and Laura Ramsey. The DVD and Blu-ray releases include an alternate ending, a handful of deleted scenes, cast and crew interviews and commentary from director Carter Smith. DVD, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99. (Paramount)
TV on DVD:
“Cannon: Season One, Volume One,” “Jake and the Fatman: Season One, Volume One” — Two crime series featuring the portly William Conrad find a new life on DVD. The 1970s show “Cannon” stars Conrad as a private eye, while “Jake and the Fatman,” which debuted in the late ’80s, casts him as a tough prosecutor with a carefree sidekick. The sets feature the first half of each series’ initial season. “Cannon” DVD, $39.99; “Jake and the Fatman” DVD set, $40.99. (Paramount)
“Monk: Season Six” — Tony Shalhoub’s obsessive-compulsive detective is back on the case with a four-disc set packing all 16 episodes from year six. The set features cast and crew commentary. DVD set, $59.98. (Universal)
“Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Fourth Season” — The cast merry-go-round of the sci-fi franchise continues as “Stargate SG-1” co-star Amanda Tapping hops a galaxy to take command for season four of this spinoff about a team of adventurers battling aliens in the distant city of Atlantis. The season’s 20 episodes come in a five-disc set, along with deleted scenes and commentary. DVD set, $49.98. (MGM)
“Psych: The Complete Second Season” — James Roday and Dule Hill are pals scrambling to help police solve crimes with Roday’s dubious psychic abilities. The four-disc set has season two’s 16 episodes, along with deleted scenes. DVD set, $59.98. (Universal)
“The X-Files: Revelations” — With the second big-screen “X-Files” movie arriving July 25, series creator (and the film’s director) Chris Carter picks eight episodes from the show’s nine-year run and offers introductions explaining how each relates to the new flick. The two-disc set also has a panel discussion with Carter and stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. DVD set, $22.98. (20th Century Fox)
“I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete Fifth and Final Season” — Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden finish their run in the comedy about an astronaut who stumbles on a gorgeous genie in a bottle. A four-disc set contains the last 26 episodes. DVD set, $39.95. (Sony)
“Soul Food: The Final Season” — The TV adaptation of the big-screen movie features Nicole Ari Parker, Vanessa Williams and Malinda Williams in a drama about three sisters and their extended families. The last 14 episodes come in a four-disc package. DVD set, $49.98. (Paramount)
“Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan: The Complete Third Season” — The canine expert continues to help problem dogs get along with their owners. The third year’s 18 episodes are packed in a six-disc set. DVD set, $27.98. (Screen Media)