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‘Good Night’ makes its greeting on DVD

Also new: ‘A History of Violence,’ ‘The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio’
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Good Night, and Good Luck”George Clooney wore his politics on his sleeve last year, coming away with a supporting-actor Academy Award for the oil-industry thriller “Syriana” and six Oscar nominations for this terrific drama that’s daring in form and content. Director, co-writer and co-star Clooney spins the story of newsman Edward R. Murrow (best-actor nominee David Strathairn) in his TV battle with Sen. Joseph McCarthy over the 1950s communist witch hunt, the story told in smoky black and white with archival footage interwoven into the dramatic narrative. In a behind-the-scenes segment, Clooney notes that he loves how people like Murrow and his producing colleague Fred Friendly (whom Clooney plays) stuck their necks out; Strathairn adds that Clooney and writing-producing partner Grant Heslov worked like a Murrow-Friendly partnership to get the film made. Clooney and Heslov also add DVD commentary. DVD, $28.98. (Warner Bros.) Read the review

“A History of Violence”

New Line Cinema

David Cronenberg goes mainstream as only he can — with a crowd-pleasing film whose dark themes and images of sex and violence are nearly as disturbing and creepy as those in his more esoteric tales. Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris and William Hurt (in a small, scene-stealing role that nabbed him an Oscar nomination) star in the story of a small-town family torn apart when an act of violence brings them to the attention of invasive mobsters. The DVD has a visceral deleted scene, a gruesome dream sequence that Cronenberg really liked but found out of place in the film, as though it had been dropped in from another picture. Cronenberg also provides commentary, and the disc’s featurettes include a nice glimpse of the director’s experiences at the Cannes Film Festival, where the movie premiered. DVD, $28.98. (New Line) Read the review

“The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio”


As usual, Julianne Moore gives her all, but in service of a tale that’s far too cute and precious for its own good, or for the audience’s. The syrupy tale casts Moore as a real-life 1950s mother of 10 who copes with her boozy husband (Woody Harrelson) and puts food in the kids’ mouths by winning advertising jingle contests. First-time director Jane Anderson piles on whimsical camera and effects flourishes, but the gimmicks grow distracting, and it’s Moore’s earnest performance alone that makes the movie passable viewing. Moore provides one commentary track, Anderson another. DVD, $29.99. (DreamWorks) Read the review

“Ice Age: Super-Cool Edition”With the sequel “Ice Age 2: The Meltdown” about to warm up theaters, the 2002 animated hit returns in a two-disc set. Ray Romano, John Leguizamo and Denis Leary provide the voices of a woolly mammoth, a sloth and a saber-toothed tiger who become unlikely buddies and caretakers for a human child as their prehistoric world is overrun by a big freeze. The DVD set allows viewers to segue into deleted scenes while watching the movie, with director Chris Wedge and co-director Carlos Saldanha offering commentary. The set also has a short film featuring the movie’s rodent-like co-star Scrat, plus Wedge’s Oscar-winning short “Bunny.” DVD set, $19.98. (20th Century Fox)

“Basic Instinct”Minus co-star Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone is returning to her best-known role 14 years later, with “Basic Instinct 2” picking up where her femme-fatale character left off. The 1992 original features Stone as a rapacious ice queen of a crime novelist who’s suspected in her lover’s murder and becomes a black-widow seductress for the cop (Douglas) investigating the case. The DVD has an introduction to the movie with Stone, who also contributes an interview segment. The disc also has two featurettes, cast screen tests and commentary from director Paul Verhoeven. DVD, $19.98. (Lionsgate)

“Remember the Titans: Director’s Cut”
Denzel Washington’s inspirational sports flick gets tougher, grittier treatment in filmmaker Boaz Yakin’s director’s edition, which adds a few minutes of footage to the PG-rated theatrical version (the new cut is unrated but carries a caution that some material may be unsuitable for children under 17). Washington stars in the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama about a black football coach who replaces the beloved, demoted white coach (Will Patton) at a newly integrated Southern high school in 1971. DVD extras include four deleted scenes and a behind-the-scenes segment featuring ex-NFL star Lynn Swann. DVD, $19.99. (Disney)

TV on DVD:

“The Simple Life 3: Interns” — Working-class gals Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are back on the job, fouling up the works at an auto-repair shop, a TV station, a plastic surgeon’s office and a funeral home. Year three’s 16 episodes come in a two-disc set. DVD set, $19.98. (20th Century Fox)

“I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete First Season” — Astronaut Larry Hagman finds a babe in a bottle (Barbara Eden) in the 1960s sit-com about a genie who can grant his wishes — and mess up his life. The four-disc set has the first 30 episodes, available in black and white or color. DVD set, $39.95. (Sony)

“V.I.P.: The Complete First Season” — Pamela Anderson is Hollywood’s hottest bodyguard in her action series about a bosomy blond protecting the rich and famous. The five-disc set has the first 22 episodes, plus cast and crew commentary on the season finale. DVD set, $49.95. (Sony)

“Columbo: The Complete Fourth Season” — Peter Falk and his rumpled trenchcoat are back on the case. A three-disc set has all six installments of the fourth year of “Columbo,” plus an episode of the spinoff “Mrs. Columbo.” DVD set, $39.98. (Universal)

“MacGyver: The Complete Fifth Season” — Richard Dean Anderson returns as the agent with a gift for turning ordinary found objects into tools of the trade. Year five’s 21 episodes come in a six-disc set. DVD set, $38.99. (Paramount)

“Murder, She Wrote: The Complete Third Season” — The mystery writer (Angela Lansbury) with a knack for solving real crimes is on the job again with a three-disc set packing 22 episodes, including a crossover episode starring Tom Selleck from “Magnum, P.I.” DVD set, $49.98. (Universal)