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New DVDs: ‘Ghost Rider,’ ‘Breach’

Also new: season three of ‘Deadwood,’ season one of ‘Welcome Back Kotter’
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Ghost Rider”Nicolas Cage bursts onto the superhero scene — and bursts into flames — as Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stunt driver by day, Satan’s fiery soul collector by night. Adapted from the Marvel Comics series, the movie has Cage’s Blaze, who sold his soul as a teenager to the devil (Peter Fonda), rekindling romance with a lost love (Eva Mendes) and taking on Satan’s prodigal son (Wes Bentley), who aims to create hell on Earth. The movie comes in a single-disc DVD with the theatrical release or two-disc DVD and Blu-ray versions with an extended cut that adds about 15 minutes of footage. Extras on all three versions include a making-of featurette and commentary with director Mark Steven Johnson and collaborators. The two-disc DVD set also has a full disc of other background materials, among them a look back at the 40-year comic-book history of “Ghost Rider.” Single DVD, $28.95; two-disc DVD set, $34.95; Blu-ray disc, $38.96. (Sony)

“Breach”

Young FBI trainee Eric O'Neill (RYAN PHILLIPPE) is lectured on becoming a godly man by renowned operative and suspected spy Robert Hanssen (CHRIS COOPER)Universal Pictures

An Academy Award winner for supporting actor, Chris Cooper shows off Oscar-caliber histrionics in a rare lead role as real-life double agent Robert Hanssen, an esteemed FBI veteran who peddled secrets to the Russians for two decades. Ryan Phillippe co-stars as the young operative plucked from dreary surveillance duty by a spymaster (Laura Linney), who assigns the new recruit as assistant to Cooper’s Hanssen, setting up a smart, understated spy-vs.-spy showdown between a mentor and his undercover protege. The DVD has 18 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes, three documentary segments and commentary with director Billy Ray and the ex-FBI man on whom Phillippe’s character was based. The movie comes in a standard DVD release or a combination disc with high-definition HD DVD and standard DVD versions. DVD, $29.98; HD DVD combo disc, $39.98. (Universal) Read the review

“Days of Glory”Nominated for last year’s foreign-language Oscar, this comrades-in-arms epic offers a refreshing, provocative and still-relevant look at World War II as seen through the eyes of North African recruits who heeded the call to volunteer to help free France from Nazi occupation. Tinged with contemporary resonance over France’s second-class treatment of Algerian and other foreign veterans since the war, the film follows the exploits of a band of brothers from campaign to campaign, culminating in a heroic last stand on French soil. The DVD has a short film and a making-of segment. DVD, $28.95. (Genius)

“Nancy Drew”With “Nancy Drew” coming to the big-screen starring Emma Roberts as the young detective, a couple of past incarnations debut on DVD. “The Original Nancy Drew Movie Mystery Collection” is a two-disc set packing four films from the late 1930s featuring Bonita Granville as the brainy, crime-solving teen. The titles are: “Nancy Drew, Detective,” “Nancy Drew, Reporter,” “Nancy Drew, Trouble Shooter” and “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase.” “The Hardy Boys-Nancy Drew Mysteries: Season Two” resurrects the 1970s mystery series shared by Nancy (Pamela Sue Martin) and the Hardy Boys (Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson). The five-disc set has 22 episodes. “Nancy Drew Movie Mystery Collection” DVD set, $24.98. (Warner Bros); “Hardy Boys-Nancy Drew” DVD set, $39.98. (Universal)

“Late Ozu”Films from the tail end of the life of Japanese filmmaking master Yasujiro Ozu (“Floating Weeds,” “Tokyo Story,” “Late Spring”) are gathered in this five-disc set that is the third release in Criterion’s Eclipse series, collections highlighting phases of world-class directors’ careers. The set has five films Ozu made from 1956-61: “Early Spring,” a glimpse of marriage and infidelity in postwar Tokyo; “Tokyo Twilight,” a tale of two sisters and their aging father; “Equinox Flower,” the story of a businessman and a daughter at odds over her choice of husbands; “Late Autumn,” a mother-daughter drama; and the filmmaker’s next-to-last-film, “The End of Summer,” a chronicle of three siblings whose elderly father takes up with an old mistress. DVD set, $69.95. (Criterion)

TV on DVD:

“Deadwood: The Complete Third Season” — It was a short but brilliant run. After just three seasons, the acclaimed Western series about a town inching from lawlessness to order ends with 12 terrific episodes anchored by a growing alliance between the newcomer sheriff (Timothy Olyphant) and the cutthroat saloon owner (Ian McShane). The six-disc set has two featurettes and commentary from series creator David Milch and members of the cast and crew. DVD set, $99.98. (HBO)

“Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete First Season” — Gabe Kaplan goes back to class as a new teacher at his old high school, teaching the same gang of rowdy Sweathogs he once ran with, his unruly students led by John Travolta. The first 22 episodes of the 1970s sit-com come in a four-disc set, accompanied by a featurette and actor screen tests. DVD set, $29.98. (Warner Bros.)

“The Practice: Volume One” — Dylan McDermott and Lara Flynn Boyle are among the ensemble of legal eagles in David E. Kelley’s drama centered on an idealistic defense attorney at a Boston firm. A four-disc set has all 13 episodes from the 1997 debut season, along with a featurette. DVD set, $39.98. (20th Century Fox)

“What’s Happening Now: The Complete First Season” — The 1970s sit-com about a band of teen pals was resurrected in the 1980s, with Fred Berry, Ernest Thomas, Haywood Nelson and others reprising their roles as adults. Season one’s 22 episodes come in a three-disc set. DVD set, $29.95. (Sony)

“Walker, Texas Ranger: The Third Season” — Chuck Norris returns as the modern lawman with an Old West code of honor. The seven-disc set packs all 26 episodes from year three. DVD set, $54.99. (Paramount)

“Diagnosis: Murder — The Second Season” — Dick Van Dyke continues his dual practice as a doctor who moonlights as a crime solver. Year two’s 22 episodes come in a six-disc set. DVD set, $54.99. (Paramount)

“Noah’s Ark: The Complete Second Season” — Four gay black men resume their quest for love and happiness in Los Angeles. Season two’s eight episodes arrive in a three-disc set, with extras that include deleted scenes and commentary. DVD set, $39.99. (Paramount)

“The Rat Patrol: The Complete Second Season” — The short-lived World War II series follows the adventures of an elite combat force fighting the Nazis in North Africa. The three-disc set has the last 26 episodes of the 1960s series. DVD set, $39.98. (MGM)

Other new releases:

“Primeval” — A 25-foot crocodile chows down on people in this silly horror piffle starring Dominic Purcell and Orlando Jones in the story of a TV news crew aiming to capture the giant reptile. The DVD has deleted scenes, a featurette and commentary with director Michael Katleman and his visual-effects supervisor. DVD, $29.99; Blu-ray disc, $34.99. (Disney)

“An Unreasonable Man” — Revered for his pioneering efforts as a consumer activist and reviled by Democrats for his third-party candidacy that may have cost Al Gore the 2000 presidential election, Ralph Nader is profiled in this comprehensive documentary featuring interviews with the man himself and his critics. The two-disc set has deleted scenes and seven featurettes. DVD set, $26.95. (Genius)