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New DVDs: ‘Norbit,’ ‘The Messengers’

Also new: season one of ‘CHiPs,’ season 8 of ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Fall Guy’ season one
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Norbit”Eddie Murphy, the man of many comebacks, missed out on his Academy Award for “Dreamgirls” but had a good year, anyway, earning rare critical praise for his role in that musical while returning to commercial form in the critically maligned but audience friendly “Norbit.” As he did in “The Nutty Professor” flicks and other movies, Murphy handles multiple roles, starring as sheepish Norbit and his own bullying behemoth of a wife, the obstacle to Norbit’s chance to rekindle romance with a childhood sweetheart (Thandie Newton). The DVD has 14 deleted scenes and featurettes that include a look at what went into Murphy’s morphing. DVD, $29.99; Blu-ray and HD DVD discs, $39.99 each. (Paramount) Read the review.

Timed to the release of “Norbit” are new DVD releases of two old Murphy comedies, 1983’s “Trading Places,” in which he’s a con man who swaps lives with a haughty stockbroker (Dan Aykroyd), and 1988’s “Coming to America,” with Murphy as an African prince looking for a bride in New York. Each disc has a handful of featurettes. DVDs, $14.99 each; Blu-ray and HD DVD discs, $29.99 each. (Paramount)

“The Messengers”

Columbia Pictures

Hollywood’s love affair with low-budget horror continues in this haunted-house thriller directed by Hong Kong brothers Danny and Oxide Pang (“The Eye”), making their first English-language feature. The cast is led by Dylan McDermott and Penelope Ann Miller as parents trying to save their shaky marriage by moving from the city to a remote farmhouse in North Dakota. Their teen daughter (Kristen Stewart) and her 3-year-old brother start seeing spirits no one else sees, and the ghostly suspense grows as a drifter (John Corbett) shows up looking to hire on for work. Stewart and the filmmaking team provide commentary, while the movie is accompanied by profiles on her and Corbett plus visual-effects, set-design and other featurettes. DVD, $28.95; Blu-ray disc, $38.96. (Sony)

“Fantastic Four: Extended Edition”

NI-SS1 The FANTASTIC FOUR are (left to right): Chris Evans (as The Human Torch), Michael Chiklis (The Thing), Jessica Alba (The Invisible Woman) and Ioan Gruffudd (Mr. Fantastic). Photo Credit: Nels Israelson TM and © 2004 Twentieth Century Fox. All rights reserved. Not for sale or duplication. Fantastic Four character likeness TM and © 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.

The 2005 superhero hit mutates into a longer adventure with this extended version that serves as a prelude to the upcoming sequel, “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” The new cut adds 20 minutes of footage to the original movie, which tells the story of four astronauts (Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans) who encounter a blast of radiation in space that transforms them into beings with strange powers. The two-disc set has both the longer cut and the theatrical version, with Gruffudd, Alba and Chiklis joining director Tim Story and others on commentary. The set has the obligatory sneak peek at the sequel and a full disc of documentary extras. DVD set, $26.98. (20th Century Fox) Read the review

“The Sergio Leone Anthology”Four rugged tales from the Italian director who invented the spaghetti Western are gathered in this eight-disc set, which includes the previously released two-disc release of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” new two-disc versions of “A Fistful of Dollars” and “For a Few Dollars More,” and the DVD debut in a two-disc set of “Duck, You Sucker.” The first three films star Clint Eastwood in the gunslinger and fortune-seeker role that established his big-screen career. “Duck, You Sucker” stars James Coburn as an explosives expert and Rod Steiger as a bandit who get caught up in the Mexican revolution. Each movie is accompanied by commentary from film historians and a huge range of behind-the-scenes segments. DVD boxed set, $89.98; two-disc sets, $26.98 each. (MGM)

TV on DVD:

“CHiPs: The Complete First Season” — Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox are motorcycle cops for the California Highway Patrol in the crime show that debuted in the late 1970s. A six-disc set has the first 22 episodes plus two featurettes with Estrada. DVD set, $39.98. (Warner Bros.)

“The Fall Guy: The Complete First Season” — After “The Six-Million Dollar Man,” Lee Majors went on to double-duty as a stunt man and bounty hunter in this 1980s action series. The first 22 episodes come in a six-disc set or in two separate three-disc volumes, along with two featurettes. Six-disc set, $59.98, three-disc sets, $29.98 each. (20th Century Fox)

“Robin Hood: Season One” — The latest incarnation of the prince of thieves stars Jonas Armstrong as Robin, who returns home from the Crusades and leads a band of rogues to fight the tyrannical sheriff of Nottingham. The first 13 episodes are packed in a five-disc set, along with four featurettes and commentary. DVD set, $79.98. (BBC)

“Hex: The Complete First Season” — Britain’s answer to “Charmed” stars Christina Cole as a boarding-school student using her magic powers to battle a resident demon (Michael Fassbender). The three-disc set has the first 10 episodes, plus deleted scenes. DVD set, $49.95. (Sony)

“Prehistoric Park” — Wildlife expert Nigel Marven travels back in time to bring dinosaurs into the modern world in this combination of documentary and fantasy that uses computer animation to re-create the great reptiles. All six episodes come in a two-disc set. DVD set, $24.98. (BCI)

“Seinfeld: Season 8” — The next-to-last season of Jerry Seinfeld and friends’ 1990s sitcom arrives in four-disc package with year eight’s 22 episodes, along with deleted scenes, cast and crew commentary and a behind-the-scenes segment with the show’s star. DVD set, $49.95. (Sony)

“Rescue Me: The Complete Third Season” — Denis Leary returns as a New York City firefighter coping with family tragedy in a post-Sept. 11 landscape. Year three’s 13 episodes come in a four-disc set that also has deleted scenes and featurettes. DVD set, $49.95; Blu-ray set, $79.95. (Sony)

“The Dead Zone: The Complete Fifth Season” — The paranormal saga inspired by Stephen King’s novel continues, with Anthony Michael Hall as a man with psychic visions that allow him to change people’s fates. The three-disc set has 11 episodes, deleted scenes and commentary. DVD set, $34.98. (Lionsgate)

“Mission: Impossible — The Second TV Season” — Peter Graves debuts as head of the Impossible Mission Force, whose operatives include Martin Landau and Barbara Bain. The seven-disc set has year two’s 25 episodes. DVD set, $54.99. (Paramount)

“Hogan’s Heroes: The Sixth & Final Season” — Bob Crane leads his gang through one last year of duping the Nazis in the sitcom about an escape-and-sabotage operation run by inmates at a German POW camp. The four-disc set has the last 24 episodes. DVD set, $42.99. (Paramount)