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DVD reviews: ‘Hancock,’ ‘24: Redemption’

Also new: ‘Fred Claus,’ ‘A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All’
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Hancock”Will Smith shows off his box-office superpowers again, taking a dark story about a superhero who despises the people he’s bound to protect and turning it into his latest summer hit. Smith plays the title role, a boozy misanthrope with a strange connection to a woman (Charlize Theron) whose husband (Jason Bateman) tries to give the hero a makeover to improve his public image. The PG-13-rated theatrical release and an unrated version with extra footage are available in separate single-disc DVD releases, while a two-disc DVD set and the Blu-ray edition contain both cuts of the movie, along with a digital copy for portable video players. Extras include a making-of segment and a batch of behind-the-scenes featurettes on the character, costumes and story development. Single DVD, $28.96; two-disc DVD set, $34.95; Blu-ray, $39.95. (Sony) Read the review.

“Fred Claus”Santa’s black-sheep brother (Vince Vaughn) is bailed out of his latest jam by his saintly sibling (Paul Giamatti) and forced to work off his debt at the North Pole, where he learns to re-evaluate his conniving ways as a heartless efficiency expert (Kevin Spacey) plots to put St. Nick out of a job. The holiday comedy from last year also stars Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates, Miranda Richardson and Elizabeth Banks. The DVD and Blu-ray releases come with deleted scenes and commentary from director David Dobkin. The Blu-ray disc also has a DVD game, featurettes and a music video by co-star Chris “Ludacris” Bridges. DVD, $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99. (Warner Bros.) Read the review.

“Space Chimps”A simian slacker, the grandson of NASA’s revered chimpanzee-in-space pioneer, becomes an unlikely hero when he and two other primate astronauts seek to salvage a critical mission after their spaceship crash lands on an unknown world. The animated family flick features a voice cast that includes Cheryl Hines, Stanley Tucci, Patrick Warburton and Andy Samberg. The movie comes to DVD and Blu-ray with scant extras, just a featurette about selecting the voice cast. DVD, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99. (20th Century Fox) Read the review.

“Meet Dave”Eddie Murphy’s seesaw career swings back to bomb mode with this dud of a science-fiction comedy about tiny alien visitors who come to Earth inside a human-shaped vessel on a mission to save their own world. Murphy stars as both the alien captain calling the shots and as the spaceship itself. The DVD has only a gag reel and a featurette, while the Blu-ray release comes with an alternate ending, deleted scenes and a handful of behind-the-scenes segments. DVD, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99. (20th Century Fox) Read the review.

“The Spy Who Came in From the Cold”Martin Ritt’s chilling 1965 adaptation of John le Carre’s Cold War thriller gets a DVD makeover in a two-disc set with a restored version of the film. Richard Burton stars as a burned-out veteran British agent who strikes up a relationship with a communist sympathizer (Claire Bloom) and is approached by operatives from behind the Iron Curtain to defect. The film is accompanied by an interview with le Carre and a BBC documentary about his career, a 1967 interview with Burton, a 1985 chat with Ritt and an essay on the production. DVD set, $39.95. (Criterion)

TV on DVD:

“24: Redemption” — Kiefer Sutherland’s counterterrorism superagent works overtime with this feature-length movie that arrives on DVD just days after its TV premiere. The movie bridges the four-year gap between the action of season six and the upcoming season seven, with Sutherland’s Jack Bauer doing missionary work in Africa, where he defends an orphanage from a dictator recruiting children for his Army. The DVD has an extended cut adding 10 minutes, plus commentary with Sutherland. DVD, $26.98. (20th Century Fox)

“A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All” — Stephen Colbert gets his own holiday show with this comedy and music that comes to DVD days after premiering on TV. Riding out a snowstorm in his cabin, Colbert celebrates the holiday with songs and silliness featuring Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, Toby Keith, John Legend, Feist and Jon Stewart. DVD, $19.99. (Paramount)

“Freaks and Geeks: Yearbook Edition” — Big-screen comedy kings Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow, along with James Franco, Jason Segel and Linda Cardellini, scored an early critical success with this short-lived series about a gang of high school kids in 1980. The eight-disc set comes in a package resembling a school yearbook and packs all 18 episodes, plus deleted scenes, a cast-and-crew panel discussion and a script for an episode that was never shot. DVD set, $169.98. (Shout)

“Beverly Hills 90210: The Sixth Season” — Luke Perry, Jason Priestley, Tori Spelling and the rest of the beautiful and spoiled gang are back in the prime-time soap, whose sixth season arrives in a seven-disc set with 31 episodes. DVD set, $61.99. (Paramount)

“Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. The Final Season” — Jim Nabors finishes his hitch in the Marine Corps as the 1960s military comedy wraps up. The four-disc set has the last 30 episodes. DVD set, $42.99. (Paramount)

“The Mod Squad: Season 2, Volume 1” — Peggy Lipton, Clarence Williams III and Michael Cole star as the flower-power youths recruited by police as undercover crime solvers. The first 13 episodes from the second season come in a four-disc package. DVD set, $42.99. (Paramount)