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New DVDs: ‘Fantastic Four,’ ‘1408’

New from TV: Ken Burns’ latest ‘The War,’ ‘Jericho: The First Season’
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”
The comic-book world’s little dysfunctional family of mutated superheroes returns, along with their archenemy and a new menace from space. With Tim Story again directing, the sequel reteams Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans as the foursome who gained superpowers from cosmic radiation, this time joining forces with their evil mutant foe (Julian McMahon) to stop an emissary (voiced by Laurence Fishburne) of Earth’s destruction. The movie comes in single- or two-disc DVD releases or a Blu-ray high-definition disc, all featuring commentary with Story, producer Avi Arad and some of their collaborators. The two-disc and Blu-ray releases also have deleted and extended scenes with commentary from Story, along with featurettes on the Fantastic Four’s slick new flying car and the comic-book history of Fishburne’s Silver Surfer character. Single DVD, $29.98; two-disc DVD set, $34.98; Blu-ray, $39.98. (20th Century Fox)


John Cusack stars in the horror hit about a skeptic whose career as a debunker of paranormal phenomena takes a turn into terror when he checks into a New York City hotel room where 57 deaths have occurred over the years. Samuel L. Jackson co-stars in a small but memorable role as the hotel manager who discourages Cusack from staying there. The movie comes in a single-disc edition with the theatrical cut or in a two-disc set with both the theatrical version and filmmaker Mikael Hafstrom’s extended director’s cut, which includes an alternate ending. The two-disc set also has deleted scenes and a batch of postcards for the hotel where Cusack’s character stays. Single DVD, $29.95; two-disc DVD set, $32.95. (Genius)

“The Jungle Book”For its 40th anniversary, Disney’s animated adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale returns in a two-disc set loaded with more than just the bare necessities. The film follows the adventures of Mowgli, a boy raised in the wild, among such creatures as Bagheera the panther, Baloo the bear, Kaa the python and King Louie the ape while journeying to the “man-village.” Among the DVD extras is a look at a character that did not make it into the film, an ill-tempered rhinoceros named Rocky. The set has a making-of segment, recollections with Bruce Reitherman, who provided the voice of Mowgli, and a film treatment that Walt Disney tried then abandoned in bringing Kipling’s tale to the screen. The film also has a commentary track stitched together from remarks by current animators and those who made the movie. DVD set, $29.99. (Disney)

The 1979 shocker featured a top-name cast led by Malcolm McDowell in the title role, Peter O’Toole, Helen Mirren and John Gielgud in a bloody, sexually explicit portrait of Rome under the debased rule of the notorious emperor, Caligula. The three-disc set has the unrated theatrical release and an alternate version with added footage. McDowell and Mirren offer commentary, while the set also has deleted and alternate scenes, a behind-the-scenes look and interviews with director Tinto Brass and Penthouse founder Bob Guccione, a producer on the film. The movie also is being released in single-disc editions with either the unrated cut or an R-rated version. DVD set, $39.99; single DVD versions, $19.99 each. (Image)

TV on DVD:

“The War” — Ken Burns, master of the documentary miniseries, gives epic treatment to World War II with the same classy, thoughtful manner he brought to such shows as “The Civil War” and “Jazz.” “The War” comes to DVD in a six-disc set on the same day as its seventh and final installment airs on PBS. Centered on the experiences of veterans and others from four American towns, the series tells the story of the war through interviews, voiceovers by Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson and other stars, exhaustive archival footage and Burns’ usual well-chosen period music. Burns provides insights into the series through commentary and a making-of segment, while the set also has deleted scenes and unaired interviews. DVD set, $129.99 (Paramount)

“Jericho: The First Season” — Skeet Ulrich, Ashley Scott, Gerald McRaney and Pamela Reed star in a drama about a Kansas town struggling in the aftermath of a nuclear attack. A six-disc set packs the first 22 episodes, plus deleted scenes, commentary and a featurette on the nuclear-arms race. DVD set, $54.99. (Paramount)

“Shark: Season One” — James Woods stars as a ruthless celebrity defense attorney who switches sides and applies his take-no-prisoners style to prosecuting criminal cases. The first 22 episodes come in a six-disc set, accompanied by deleted scenes and commentary. DVD set, $59.98. (20th Century Fox)

“Entourage: Season Three, Part 2” — The rising Hollywood superstar (Adrian Grenier) and his posse continue to maneuver through the perks and pitfalls of celebrity. The two-disc set has eight episodes, along with commentary. DVD set, $39.98. (HBO)

“Criminal Minds: The Second Season” — Mandy Patinkin and his ace team of FBI profilers return for more cases. Year two’s 23 episodes come in a six-disc set, with extras that include featurettes and deleted scenes. DVD set, $64.99. (Paramount)

“How I Met Your Mother: Season Two” — Josh Radnor, Alyson Hannigan and Neil Patrick Harris are featured in the sitcom centered on one man’s quest to find his true love. The three-disc set has all 22 episodes from year two, plus commentary and background featurettes. DVD set, $39.98. (20th Century Fox)