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‘Narnia,’ ‘Crash,’ ‘Brokeback’ videos released

Big movies lead DVD pack this week, from TV ‘Magnum’ ‘Dawson's’ sets
/ Source: The Associated Press

Some new home video releases this week:

“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”Audiences’ love affair with British fantasy continues with this vivid blockbuster adaptation of the C.S. Lewis adventure about a battle between good and evil in a realm of fauns, centaurs and talking animals, including the Christlike figure of a lion (voiced by Liam Neeson). The first part of Lewis’ epic chronicles follows the journey of four siblings transported to mythical Narnia through an enchanted wardrobe. Available as a single DVD or in a two-disc edition, the movie is accompanied by commentary with the four young stars and director Andrew Adamson, who also joins producer Mark Johnson and their production designer on a separate commentary. The two-disc set comes with a huge range of background material, highlighted by a look at how the legions of creatures were designed and a portrait of author Lewis. The set also is loaded with behind-the-scenes segments with the child stars, Adamson and many of his technical crew. Single DVD, $29.99; two-disc set, $34.99. (Disney)

“Brokeback Mountain”The cowboy romance that was a sure thing to win the best-picture Academy Award — until the big night itself, that is — arrives on DVD a month after winning three Oscars but losing the top prize. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal star in the story that became a cultural phenomenon and source of endless gay-cowboy jokes, playing sheepherders whose summer of love turns into a lifelong forbidden affair they conceal from their families. The DVD has a handful of featurettes but feels like a placeholder for a more thorough home-video edition down the road. Among the DVD extras are a profile of Ang Lee, who won the best-director Oscar, and a chat with Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, who won a screenplay Oscar for adapting Annie Proulx’s short story. The disc also has interviews with Ledger and Gyllenhaal discussing the cowboy training they underwent. DVD, $29.98. (Universal)

“Crash”Previously available on a single DVD, the upstart drama that beat “Brokeback Mountain” for the best-picture Oscar gets a makeover in a two-disc edition presenting Paul Haggis’ director’s cut, which adds a couple of minutes of footage. The ensemble tale features a huge cast including supporting-actor nominee Matt Dillon, Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Terrence Howard, Thandie Newton, Brendan Fraser, Jennifer Esposito and Ryan Phillippe in a crisscrossing saga of racial and cultural tensions over a tumultuous 36-hour span in Los Angeles. Haggis and Bobby Moresco, who won an Oscar for their original screenplay, are joined by Cheadle for commentary, while Haggis also provides an introduction and commentary for deleted scenes. Other extras include an examination of the filmmakers’ vision of Los Angeles and a music video of Bird York’s Oscar-nominated theme song “In the Deep.” DVD set, $26.98. (Lionsgate)

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“Films of Faith Collection”As an Easter prelude, three 1950s and ’60s films with Christian themes debut on DVD. Audrey Hepburn stars in “The Nun’s Story,” the World War II tale of a Belgian sister torn between adhering to church neutrality and aiding the Resistance. “The Shoes of the Fisherman” stars Anthony Quinn as a freed Russian dissident propelled into modern political intrigue when he is elected pope. “The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima” presents the drama of sightings of the Virgin Mary among Portuguese children during World War I. The films are available separately or in a three-disc set. DVD set, $29.98; single DVDs, $14.95. (Warner Bros.)

“Marlene Dietrich: The Glamour Collection”
“Carole Lombard: The Glamour Collection”
“Mae West: The Glamour Collection”
A batch of two-disc sets pack nice assortments of flicks starring three queens of Hollywood’s golden age. Dietrich stars in “Morocco,” “Blonde Venus,” “The Devil Is a Woman,” “The Flame of New Orleans” and “Golden Earrings.” The Lombard set features “Man of the World,” “We’re Not Dressing,” “Hands Across the Table,” “Love Before Breakfast,” “The Princess Comes Across” and “True Confession.” The West flicks are “Night After Night,” “I’m No Angel,” “Goin’ to Town,” “Go West Young Man” and “My Little Chickadee.” DVD sets, $26.98. (Universal)


“Dawson’s Creek: The Complete Sixth Season”The final 23 episodes following the angst-ridden friendships and romances among young pals, including Katie Holmes and Michelle Williams, come in a four-disc set. Series creator Kevin Williamson offers commentary on the finale. DVD set, $49.95. (Sony)

“Magnum P.I.: The Complete Fourth Season”Tom Selleck, his Ferrari and his gaudy Hawaiian shirts return for 21 more episodes of private detecting. The three-disc set also has a bonus episode from season five. DVD set, $49.98. (Universal)

“Full House: The Complete Third Season”Bob Saget and family (including Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen doubling up to play the baby of the family) are back in a four-disc set containing year three’s 22 episodes. DVD set, $29.98. (Warner Bros.)

Other new releases

“Bee Season”Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche star in this drama about an overlooked daughter (Flora Cross) whose sudden success as a spelling-bee champion disrupts the delicate balance of her family’s dynamic. The disc has deleted scenes and commentary. DVD, $27.98. (20th Century Fox)

“Little Manhattan”This pint-sized Woody Allen romance tells the first-love tale of a boy and girl (Josh Hutcherson and Charlie Ray), with a sweet side story about the grown-up travails of a divorcing couple (Cynthia Nixon and Bradley Whitford). DVD extras include commentary and deleted scenes. DVD, $27.98. (20th Century Fox)