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New DVDs: ‘Astronaut Farmer,’ ‘Last Mimzy’

Also new: Season two of ‘Extras,’ season three of ‘Hustle’
/ Source: The Associated Press

“The Astronaut Farmer”It’s a familiar story: A NASA astronaut (Billy Bob Thornton) is forced to leave the program to tend to the family farm after his dad dies, so he builds his own rocket in his spare time for a personal jaunt into space. And of course, government officials (including Bruce Willis in an uncredited role) step in to try to stop him for intruding on their rocketship monopoly. Virginia Madsen co-stars as Thornton’s wife, who leads their brood of children to form their own private rocket launch and recovery crew. The DVD has a making-of featurette, bloopers and outtakes and a conversation with NASA astronaut David Scott. DVD, $27.95. (Warner Bros.) Read the review

“The Last Mimzy”Bob Shaye, founder and co-chairman of New Line Cinema, trades the executive’s desk for the director’s chair on this family fantasy based on Lewis Padgett’s short story “Mimsy Were the Borogoves.” The movie centers on a young brother and sister (Chris O’Neil and Rhiannon Leigh Wryn) who receive a strange box filled with what seems like toys, including a stuffed rabbit that turns out to be an emissary from the future on a mission to save humanity. The DVD is stacked with behind-the-scenes material on casting, production design, visual effects and the science explored in the movie. There’s also a profile on Shaye, who provides audio commentary, and the disc has 11 deleted scenes. DVD, $28.98. (New Line)

“After the Wedding”Danish director Susanne Bier (“Open Hearts,” “Brothers”) scores with another acclaimed, moody melodrama on this tale that earned an Academy Award nomination for best foreign-language film for 2006. Mads Mikkelson, the vicious villain of last fall’s James Bond thriller “Casino Royale,” stars as the proprietor of an orphanage in India who returns home to Denmark to meet a wealthy potential benefactor (Rolf Lassgard) whose daughter’s wedding brings about events that devastate everyone’s lives. The DVD features deleted scenes and a conversation with Bier. DVD, $24.95. (Genius)

“Joan Collins Collection”Before she was a prime-time soap diva, Joan Collins heated up the big-screen alongside Paul Newman, Richard Burton, Edward G. Robinson and other stars. A five-disc set packs five Collins flicks from the 1950s and ’60s: “The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing,” starring Collins and Ray Milland in an illicit affair that leads to murder; “Rally ’Round the Flag, Boys!” with Collins, Newman and Joanne Woodward in a comic love triangle set against an Army plan to put a missile site in their town; “Sea Wife,” with Collins as a nun and Burton as an RAF officer who are among four passengers on a life raft after their ship is sunk during World War II; “Seven Thieves,” featuring Collins, Robinson and Rod Steiger in a Monte Carlo casino caper; and “Stopover Tokyo,” an espionage tale starring Collins as an airline clerk thrown together with an American spy (Robert Wagner) trying to prevent an assassination. DVD set, $49.98; single DVDs, $19.98 each. (20th Century Fox)

“The Woman in the Window”Fritz Lang’s 1944 crime thriller leads a lineup of four DVD releases from old Hollywood’s film-noir vaults. Edward G. Robinson stars as an academic and family man drawn into murder through an innocent encounter with a woman (Joan Bennett), with Raymond Massey co-starring as Robinson’s buddy — and the prosecutor investigating the case. Robinson stars in two other new releases: Orson Welles’ 1946 tale “The Stranger,” with Robinson as a government agent on the trail of a Nazi war criminal (Welles) now living a quiet life in America; and 1955’s “A Bullet for Joey,” with Robinson as a Canadian detective investigating a case of spies and gangsters trying to steal atomic secrets. Also on DVD is 1952’s “Kansas City Confidential,” with John Payne as a patsy trying to clear his name after he’s framed for a bank heist. DVDs, $19.98 each. (MGM)

“Three Films By Hiroshi Teshigahara”Japanese film master Teshigahara gets great treatment with this elaborate four-disc set packing three acclaimed tales from the 1960s. Included are “Pitfall,” the story of a man seeking work in a town of lost souls; “Woman in the Dunes,” about an entomologist who becomes prisoner to a woman living among suffocating sand dunes; and “The Face of Another,” about a man disfigured in a fire who is given a lifelike mask that seems to be taking over his personality. The set also has four short films by Teshigahara, essays by film scholars and a documentary about the director’s collaboration with novelist Kobo Abe, who wrote all three films in the set. DVD set, $79.95. (Criterion)

TV on DVD:

“Extras: The Complete Second Season” — Ricky Gervais, star of the original British version of “The Office,” resumes life as a non-speaking background player struggling to write and star in his own TV show. The two-disc set has six episodes, with guest stars that include Robert De Niro, David Bowie and “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe. DVD set, $29.98. (HBO)

“Beauty and the Beast: The Second Season” — The romantic fantasy returns with Linda Hamilton as a prosecutor living above ground and Ron Perlman as her man-beast beau from down under. Year two’s 22 episodes come in a six-disc set, with introductions on some episodes by Hamilton and Perlman. DVD set, $49.99. (Paramount)

“Bewitched: The Complete Fifth Season” — Elizabeth Montgomery is back as the housewife who comes from a long line of witches, with Dick York as her mortal hubby and Agnes Moorehead as her meddlesome mother. The four-disc set has 30 episodes. DVD set, $39.95. (Sony)

“Hustle: Complete Season Three” — Robert Vaughn and Adrian Lester lead the cast in this story of con artists who cheat only those that deserve it, never an honest person. The two-disc has six episodes, plus an interview with the cast. DVD set, $34.98. (BBC)