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‘Match Point’ takes its game to DVD

Also new: ‘Shopgirl,’ ‘Aeon Flux’ and volume one of ‘American Dad’
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Match Point”Woody Allen left his beloved Manhattan behind, went to London, switched to a youthful cast and turned serious. The result: His biggest mini-hit in ages with this solid drama examining the universe’s cruel indifference to justice. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson and Emily Mortimer star in the tale of a social-climbing tennis pro whose actions turn harsh when a fling with an American actress endangers his cozy new life as an heiress’ husband. Thematically, the film’s a throwback to Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” though “Match Point” never rises to that movie’s level of rich drama and character interplay. Allen prefers to let his films speak for themselves, so like his other DVD releases, the disc is barren of extras. DVD, $29.99. (DreamWorks) Read the review



Fans usually aren’t clamoring for DVD commentary from screenwriters, but here’s a film that really could have used it. Steve Martin, who co-stars with Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman, wrote the script based on his novella about an unusual love triangle. Danes stars as the title character, a depressive sales clerk at a posh Beverly Hills department store who’s wooed by a suave, well-to-do older man (Martin) and an awkward young slacker (Schwartzman). Instead of Martin, director Anand Tucker offers commentary. The DVD also has deleted scenes and a making-of featurette. DVD, $29.99. (Disney) Read the review

“Aeon Flux”
First there was Halle Berry with “Catwoman.” Then Charlize Theron with “Aeon Flux.” Women who win Academy Awards be warned: Action flicks can be embarrassing for your career. In fairness, Theron’s live-action rendition of the cryptic MTV animated series is not laughable like Berry’s “Catwoman.” “Aeon Flux” is just lethargic and dull. Set centuries in the future, when survivors from a global plague live inside a walled city, the movie stars Theron in the title role as an agent sent to assassinate the totalitarian society’s leader. Director Karyn Kusama contributes to DVD interview segments shot while the movie was in production, but she is conspicuously absent in commentary, which is handled by Theron and producer Gale Anne Hurd. The movie’s screenwriters contribute a second commentary track, and featurettes include interviews with Peter Chung, who created the animated “Aeon Flux.” DVD, $29.99. (Paramount)

“Robert Altman Collection”Altman fans will have to take the good with the so-so in this boxed set of four films, since only the previously released “M*A*S*H” is available separately. The set features the DVD debuts of three of Altman’s late 1970s films: “A Wedding,” with Carol Burnett, Mia Farrow, Lillian Gish and Desi Arnaz Jr. in a sloppy prenuptial farce; “A Perfect Couple,” starring Paul Dooley and Marta Heflin in an engaging computer-dating romance; and “Quintet,” featuring Paul Newman in a dramatically chilly story about people fighting to survive after an ice age overruns the planet. “M*A*S*H” has previously available commentary from Altman, while the other three movies are accompanied by featurettes. DVD set, $39.98. (20th Century Fox)

“The Patriot,” “Windtalkers,” “Casualties of War”As Memorial Day approaches, the usual rush of military releases resumes with extended cuts of three war flicks. A new version of Mel Gibson’s “The Patriot” adds about 10 minutes to the saga of a reluctant hero during the American Revolution. Previously available in a three-disc set, John Woo’s director’s cut of “Windtalkers,” adding 20 minutes to the Nicolas Cage drama of American Indian code-keepers during World War II, now is available in a single-DVD edition. Brian DePalma’s “Casualties of War,” a Vietnam poweder keg with Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn, runs five minutes longer in its extended cut. DVDs, $19.94 each. (Sony)

TV on DVD:

“American Dad: Volume One” — From the goofs behind the animated series “Family Guy” comes this cartoon tale of a CIA operative, his bizarre family and their boozy alien houseguest. The first 13 episodes come in a three-disc set, with 42 deleted scenes and commentary on most episodes. DVD set, $39.98. (20th Century Fox)

“The Waltons: The Complete Third Season” — TV’s favorite Depression-era family returns. Richard Thomas, Ralph Waite, Michael Learned, Will Geer and Ellen Corby star in the saga of a large clan struggling to get by during hard times. Year three’s 25 episodes are packed in a five-disc set. DVD set, $39.98. (Warner Bros.)

“Reba: The Complete Third Season” — Country singer Reba McEntire stars as a single mom coping with a rambunctious extended family in this sitcom. The third season is collected in a three-disc set with 22 episodes. DVD set, $39.98. (20th Century Fox)

“Law & Order: Trial by Jury — The Complete Series” — Justice was short-lived for this courtroom spinoff that lasted only 13 episodes. A three-disc set packs the entire series, which starred Bebe Neuwirth and “Law & Order” veteran Jerry Orbach. DVD set, $59.98. (Universal)

“The Avengers ’62” — Before Diana Rigg’s Emma Peel signed on, the British action series paired Patrick Macnee with Honor Blackman as stylish crimefighters. A four-disc set has 14 episodes from the show’s second season that aired in 1962-63. DVD set, $59.95. (A&E)

Other new releases:

“Casanova” — When he wasn’t busy with Jake Gyllenhaal on “Brokeback Mountain” last year, Heath Ledger spent time as history’s infamous lecher in this romp about Casanova’s pursuit of the one woman (Sienna Miller) immune to his charms. Director Lasse Hallstrom offers commentary. DVD, $29.99. (Disney) Read the review

“Tristan & Isolde” — James Franco and Sophia Myles are the legendary star-crossed lovers in this drab historical romance. The DVD has two commentaries from the filmmakers and a featurette. DVD, $29.98. (20th Century Fox) Read the review

“The Wedding Singer: Totally Awesome Edition” — Adam Sander and Drew Barrymore’s romantic comedy centers on a jilted wedding crooner pursuing a new love — before she ties the knot to someone else. The new DVD edition adds a few minutes of footage and has a preview of the Broadway show based on the film. DVD, $19.97. (New Line)

“Guys and Dolls” — The classic musical about two wiseguy gamblers (Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra) and their dames gets a DVD makeover, featuring a behind-the-scenes documentary and a 72-page booklet reproducing promotional materials from the film’s 1955 release. DVD, $24.96. (MGM)

“Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory” — Five song-and-dance titles from the MGM vaults make their DVD debuts: “Ziegfeld Follies,” “Summer Stock,” “Till the Clouds Roll By,” “Three Little Words” and “It’s Always Fair Weather.” The films are available separately or in a boxed set. DVD set, $59.92; single DVDs, $19.97. (Warner Bros.)

“Magic” — Richard Attenborough’s 1978 thriller stars Anthony Hopkins as a ventriloquist driven to bloody deeds by the talking dummy that controls his life. The DVD has interview segments with Hopkins and a screen test for co-star Ann-Margret. DVD, $19.98. (Dark Sky)