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‘Monster-in-Law’ brings laughs to DVD

Also new, ‘Sahara,’ season one of ‘House’ and season four of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Monster-in-Law”Jane Fonda returns to the screen after a nearly 15-year hiatus to play the prospective mother-in-law from hell in this fitful comedy that proved a solid box-office success. Jennifer Lopez stars as an odd-jobbing woman who finds the handsome, successful doctor of her dreams (Michael Vartan), then meets his disapproving mommy (Fonda), a harpy who deep-sixes her son’s choice and schemes to break the happy couple apart. The two-disc set includes commentary with director Robert Luketic and co-star Wanda Sykes, who plays Fonda’s sassy assistant, plus featurettes centering on Lopez, Fonda, Vartan and the director. Luketic also offers an introduction for seven deleted scenes. DVD set, $28.98. (New Line) Original theatrical review

“Sahara”

Clive Cussler’s roguish hero Dirk Pitt comes to the big-screen in this adaptation of his eco-adventure tale in the deserts of Africa. Director Breck Eisner, son of departing Walt Disney boss Michael Eisner, makes his feature film debut, proving himself adept at gunplay and blowing things up. Matthew McConaughey stars as scruffy explorer Pitt, who teams with his comic sidekick (Steve Zahn) and a World Health Organization doc (Penelope Cruz) to prevent a globe-threatening epidemic and unearth a Civil War battleship buried in the sands. Eisner and McConaughey, also an executive producer on the movie, offer commentary. The DVD also has four deleted scenes and three making-of featurettes. DVD, $29.99. (Paramount) Original theatrical review

“Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch”Disney cashes in again on its 2002 animated hit with a second straight-to-video sequel, the action on this one sandwiched between that of the original film and the 2003 follow-up “Stitch! The Movie.” This time out, as extraterrestrial refugee Stitch settles into domestic life in Hawaii, the unruly alien critter short-circuits, leaving his gal pal Lilo, her sister and their extended family to figure out how to reset his inner gyro. DVD extras include a cartoon short that spells out Stitch’s origins as “Experiment 626” in a cosmic science lab, plus a music video and a couple of set-top games. DVD, $29.99. (Disney)

“The Blues Brothers: 25th Anniversary Edition”It started as a “Saturday Night Live” skit, became a touring blues gig for John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, then a cameo-laden big-screen romp. And 25 years later, it has evolved into a classic of comedy excess. Belushi and Aykroyd star as musical men in black Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues, whose comrades include Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Cab Calloway in a madcap race to stay ahead of country rednecks, Illinois Nazis and the Midwest’s law-enforcement community. The new DVD edition includes the theatrical version and an extended cut adding 15 minutes of footage. Aykroyd, director John Landis and collaborators offer recollections, and the DVD features a portrait of the late Belushi. DVD, $22.98. (Universal)

“Pretty Woman: 15th Anniversary Special Edition”Julia Roberts is the ultimate hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold, playing Eliza Doolittle to Richard Gere’s Henry Higgins in this Pygmalion variant about a rich businessman who hires a prostitute as his companion for a week, gives her a class-act makeover and, of course, finds true love in the process. Director Garry Marshall offers commentary for this new DVD version, which also packs a blooper reel, a music video by Natalie Cole and two featurettes, including a glimpse of the cast-and-crew’s wrap party. DVD, $19.99. (Disney)

“Tommy Boy: Holy Schnike Edition,” “Clueless: ‘Whatever!’ Edition”The dumb-and-dumber set had a banner year in 1995 with these comedies getting DVD makeovers. “Tommy Boy” stars the late Chris Farley as a party animal forced to grow up and save the family auto-parts factory from con artists and corporate sharks with help from a wisecracking partner (David Spade). The two-disc set has more than two dozen deleted scenes, alternate takes and extended sequences, plus four making-of featurettes and commentary with director Peter Segal. “Clueless” features Alicia Silverstone as a Beverly Hills teen princess with a flair for shopping, brown-nosing and meddling. The DVD has featurettes on the movie’s fashion, slang and other topics. DVDs, $19.99 each. (Paramount)

TV on DVD:

“Roseanne: The Complete First Season” — The tell-it-like-it-really-is sitcom stars Roseanne Barr and John Goodman as working-class parents dealing with authentic, serious family matters. The four-disc set has the first 23 episodes. Extras include a new interview with Roseanne. DVD set, $39.98. (Anchor Bay)

“Nip/Tuck: The Complete Second Season” — Operations resume for the hip drama about two plastic surgeons (Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon) who dispense physical perfection and emotional chaos. The six-disc set has 16 episodes, plus 40 minutes of deleted footage. DVD set, $59.98. (Warner Bros.)

“Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Fourth Season” — Larry David’s pseudo-reality sitcom casts our hero as the new lead in Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” opposite David Schwimmer. The two-disc set has 10 episodes, highlighted by the season finale featuring a hilarious bit by Brooks and wife Anne Bancroft, who died this year. DVD set, $39.99. (HBO)

“House: Season One” — Hugh Laurie plays an inhumanly sardonic doctor who heads a medical team specializing in rare disorders. The first 22 episodes come in a three-disc set, with cast and crew interviews and a featurette on the medical science behind the show. DVD set, $59.98. (Universal)

“The Staircase” — Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade spins a gripping real-life drama in this six-hour miniseries that dissects the death of Kathleen Peterson and the murder prosecution of her husband, Michael. The two-disc set has a making-of segment and a follow-up interview with Michael Peterson. DVD set, $39.95. (Docurama)

“Married With Children: The Complete Fourth Season” — Ed O’Neill, Katey Sagal, Christina Applegate and David Faustino return as the trashy Bundy family in a three-disc set with 23 episodes. DVD set, $39.95. (Sony)

“Eric Idle’s Personal Best,” “Michael Palin’s Personal Best” — The first two of six compilation discs feature favorite sketches from the stars of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Idle and Palin offer characteristically oddball introductions to their collections of 15 best sketches. DVDs, $19.95 each. (A&E)

“Petticoat Junction: Ultimate Collection” — It’s back to Hooterville with a three-disc set that packs 20 episodes from the first season of the 1960s comedy about a rural hotel owner, her three beautiful daughters and a parade of local yokels. DVD set, $29.98. (MPI)