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‘Kicking and Screaming’ limps on to DVD

Also new, ‘Veronica Mars’ season one, ‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Kicking & Screaming”Will Ferrell morphs from laid-back vitamin salesman and family guy to caffeine-crazed soccer dad in this “Bad News Bears”-style comedy retread. Ferrell’s average-Joe lunkhead finds himself swept up in the glory of the games and becomes a hyper-competitive coach of his son’s team as he heads for a championship showdown with a squad coached by his own win-at-all-costs father (Robert Duvall). Featuring Mike Ditka, the movie is accompanied on DVD by deleted scenes, outtakes and alternate footage. The disc’s other extras focus mainly on a forgettable batch of featurettes about the young actors on Ferrell’s ragtag team and the soccer training they underwent. DVD, $29.98. (Universal) Original theatrical review

“Kingdom of Heaven”

Ridley Scott brought the wonders of Rome back to life and box-office prominence with “Gladiator,” but his take on the Crusades proved a critical and commercial dud. The historical saga stars Orlando Bloom, Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons in the tale of a blacksmith grieving over his wife’s death, who inherits his father’s noble mantle and leads the defense of Jerusalem during the Christian-vs.-Muslim battles of the Middle Ages. The two-disc set has A&E Network and History Channel documentaries about the film contrasting its fictional aspects with the historical record, plus interviews with Bloom and Scott. The film is accompanied by text commentary with historical background on the Crusades. DVD set, $29.98. (20th Century Fox) Original theatrical review

“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”

Clothes make the young woman in this tale of four gal pals spending a summer apart for the first time. When the quartet of varying shapes and sizes (Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrara and Blake Lively) come across a pair of thrift-store blue jeans that magically fits each of them perfectly, they decide to share the pants, each wearing them for a week as a good-luck charm and to maintain their bonds. The actresses (with Lively joining in by phone) gather for a bull session to watch scenes from the film and offer recollections, while director Ken Kwapis adds commentary for deleted scenes. The DVD also has an interview with Ann Brashares, whose best-selling novel was the basis for the movie. DVD, $28.98. (Warner Bros.) Original theatrical review

“Unleashed”Jet Li delivers on two fronts with the best dramatic performance of his career and some bone-crunchingly inventive fight sequences. Li plays a man raised virtually as a human attack dog by a vicious mobster (Bob Hoskins), with Morgan Freeman co-starring as a blind piano tuner who offers the hero the sort of decent domestic life he has never known. The movie is available in the R-rated theatrical version or an unrated edition with extended action footage. Both versions feature a making-of featurette, an interview with director Louis Leterrier and music videos by Massive Attack and RZA. The unrated edition also comes with a segment on the fight choreography by martial-arts master Yuen Wo Ping. DVD, $29.98. (Universal) Original theatrical review

“McClintock!” “Hondo”John Wayne stars in two Westerns, light and dark. The slapstick-laden “McClintock!” (from 1963) reunites Wayne with his “The Quiet Man” co-star Maureen O’Hara for a brawling tale of a cattle rancher reconciling with his estranged wife during the homecoming of their daughter. “Hondo” (from 1953) is a more sobering story of a cavalry man protecting a woman and her son from encroaching Indian tribes. Both DVDs feature commentary with critic Leonard Maltin and Western expert Frank Thompson, who are joined by actors from the films, including O’Hara and “McClintock!” co-star Stefanie Powers. DVDs, $14.99 each. (Paramount)

TV on DVD:

“Arrested Development: Season Two” — The acclaimed sitcom is back with 18 more episodes about the dysfunctional wealthy family thrown into chaos by the imprisonment of their patriarch. The three-disc set features deleted scenes and commentary on some episodes. DVD set, $39.98. (20th Century Fox)

“Veronica Mars: The Complete First Season” — Kristen Bell stars as a former Southern California teen queen who falls on hard times after her best friend is murdered and ends up helping her dad run a low-rent private-eye business. The six-disc set has the first 22 episodes, plus deleted footage. DVD set, $59.98. (Warner Bros.)

“South Park: The Complete Sixth Season” — The foul-mouthed animated fourth-graders return in a three-disc set packing all 17 episodes from year six. Each episode includes commentary with series creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. DVD set, $49.99. (Paramount)

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The Complete Second Season” — Will Smith’s 1990s sitcom features the rapper turned actor as an inner-city kid from back East sent to live with rich relations in California. The four-disc set has year two’s 24 episodes. DVD set, $29.98. (Warner Bros.)

“Martha’s Holidays 2005” — Queen of the kitchen how-to set and ex-jailbird Martha Stewart offers Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s dinner recipes and decorating tips in this three-disc collection culled from her TV show. Also available separately is “Martha’s Favorite Family Dinners.” DVD set, $39.98; single DVDs, $19.98 each. (Warner Bros.)

“The New York Yankees Fall Classic Collector’s Edition, 1996-2001” — A seven-disc set collects five pivotal World Series games for the Yanks from 1996 and 1998-2001, each matchup presented in its entirety. The set also has highlights films on the championship series. DVD set, $79.95. (A&E)

“The Jeffersons,” “Soap” — The fourth seasons of the beloved sitcoms debut in a pair of three-disc sets. “The Jeffersons,” featuring Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford, has 26 episodes, while “Soap,” whose cast includes Richard Mulligan and Kathryn Helmond, has 22 episodes. DVD sets, $29.95 each. (Sony)

Other new releases:

“Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession” — Filmmaker Xan Cassavetes offers a captivating retrospective on a Los Angeles cable-TV channel whose focus on art cinema influenced the blossoming of independent film in the 1980s. The film includes interviews with Robert Altman, Quentin Tarantino and Jim Jarmusch and offers a candid portrait of the decline of station programmer Jerry Harvey, who died in a murder-suicide. DVD, $24.99. (Hart Sharp)