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New DVDs: ‘Perfect Strangers,’ ‘Lives of Others’

Also new: ‘Dexter’ season one, ‘House’ season three, ‘South Park’ season 10
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Perfect Stranger”Bruce Willis does better at the box office without hair. Before he saddled up as the bald action hero in the summer hit “Live Free or Die Hard,” he let his hair grow and joined Halle Berry earlier in the year for this cluttered thriller that had audiences yawning. Berry plays an investigative reporter who goes undercover on a personal mission: Trying to prove a businessman (Willis) having an affair with her friend is responsible for the woman’s murder. The movie comes to DVD and Blu-ray high-definition disc in ho-hum fashion, with a making-of featurette the only extra on the disc. DVD, $28.95; Blu-ray, $38.96. (Sony) Read the review

“The Lives of Others”

In this photo provided by Sony Pictures Classics, Sebastian Koch (left) and Martina Gedeck (right) star in "The Lives of Others" (AP Photo/Sony Pictures Classics/Hagen Keller)Hagen Keller / SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

From last year’s remarkably strong lineup for the foreign-language Academy Award came this triumph by a first-time filmmaker, whose debut wound up winning the Oscar. German writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck delivers a rich, potent, even profound portrait of oppressors and victims living amid the last years of communism in East Berlin. His thriller follows the complex relations surrounding a playwright and his actress-girlfriend, who come under surveillance by the German secret police for purely personal, not political, reasons. The DVD and Blu-ray releases have deleted scenes, an interview and commentary with the director and a making-of segment. DVD, $26.96; Blu-ray, $38.96. (Sony) Read the review

“Serenity: Collector’s Edition”

Universal

The big-screen continuation of the short-lived sci-fi TV series “Firefly” gets a DVD upgrade with this two-disc set. Joss Whedon, creator of “Firefly” and such TV hits as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel,” writes and directs the saga of Serenity, a rickety interplanetary cargo ship whose captain (Nathan Fillion) and crew scrape by taking on dubious passengers and carrying out felonious missions. The film wraps up the story line begun on the show, with Serenity’s mysterious fugitive passenger (Summer Glau) leading the gang to uncover a dark secret concealed by the government. Along with deleted scenes and other extras from a previous DVD release, the set has new materials including half a dozen featurettes and commentary with Whedon, Fillion, Glau and co-stars Adam Baldwin and Ron Glass. DVD set, $26.98. (Universal) Read the review

“RoboCop”For its 20th anniversary, director Paul Verhoeven’s blend of sci-fi and police thriller returns to DVD in a two-disc package loaded with extras. Peter Weller stars as the title character, a slain cop fitted with armor and machine components in an experiment to create a crime fighter capable of taking on bad guys in an ultraviolent future and whose human side reasserts itself in the middle of the fray. Packaged in a metal case, the new set comes with deleted scenes, commentary by Verhoeven and collaborators and a huge range of background segments, including a look at the state of special effects back in 1987. DVD set, $22.98. (MGM)

“House of Games,” “The Milky Way”Playwright David Mamet made his film-directing debut with 1987’s “House of Games,” featuring his wife at the time, Lindsay Crouse, as a psychiatrist drawn into the sleight-of-hand world of a card shark and con man (Joe Mantegna). The new DVD version features interviews with Crouse and Mantegna, a behind-the-scenes segment and commentary with Mamet and card consultant Ricky Jay. Also coming to DVD is Luis Bunuel’s 1969 “The Milky Way,” a surreal tale of two beggars on a road trip that was the opening chapter of a wickedly blasphemous trilogy (“The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeosie” and “The Phantom of Liberty” followed). The disc has a video introduction by screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere and a segment on Bunuel’s atheism. “House of Games” DVD, $39.95; “Milky Way” DVD, $29.95. (Criterion)

“The Films of Michael Haneke”The Austrian director, whose films include the acclaimed domestic thriller “Cache,” gets fine boxed-set treatment with a seven-disc set covering the bulk of his feature-film career through 2001. The seven films include his big-screen debut with 1989’s “The Seventh Continent,” a drama examining the blandness of middle-class life through the story of a young woman who seeks attention by feigning blindness. Also included is Haneke’s 2001 Cannes triumph “The Piano Teacher,” plus such dramas and thrillers as “Benny’s Video,” “71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance,” “Franz Kafka’s the Castle,” “Code Unknown” and “Funny Games,” which Haneke is remaking in an English-language version starring Naomi Watts. DVD set, $99.95. (Kino)

TV on DVD:

“Ugly Betty: The Complete First Season” — America Ferrera stars in the title role as the unglamorous assistant to the editor of a top fashion magazine in the hit that co-stars Eric Mabius, Vanessa Williams and Rebecca Romijn. The first 23 episodes come in a six-disc set, along with deleted scenes, commentary and a handful of featurettes. DVD set, $59.99. (Disney)

“’Til Death: The Complete First Season” — “Everybody Loves Raymond” co-star Brad Garrett and Joely Fisher are veteran marrieds living beside newlywed neighbors (Eddie Kaye Thomas and Kat Foster). A three-disc set packs the first 22 episodes, plus bloopers and three featurettes. DVD set, $39.95. (Sony)

“Dexter: The First Season” — The crime drama features an unlikely lead player — a serial killer (Michael C. Hall) with a code of honor under which he kills only those he feels deserve death. The first 12 episodes are included in a four-disc set, which also has featurettes and commentary. DVD set, $42.99. (Showtime)

“House: Season Three” — Hugh Laurie returns as the insufferable doc who’s a genius at diagnosing tough cases and makes sure everyone knows it. Year three’s 24 episodes are featured in a five-disc set. DVD set, $59.98. (Universal)

“South Park: The Complete Tenth Season” — The irreverent cartoon series centered on a gang of foul-mouthed kids is back in a three-disc set that has the 10th season’s 14 episodes, plus commentary with creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. DVD set, $49.99. (Paramount)

“JAG: The Fourth Season” — The warrior lawyers resume court duties in the drama that focuses on a team of attorneys prosecuting military crimes. Year four’s 24 episodes come in a six-disc package. DVD set, $64.99. (Paramount)

“Dog Whisperer: The Complete Second Season” — Cesar Millan returns as the animal expert who cures problem canines and shows owners how to have better relationships with their pets. A six-disc set has year two’s 20 episodes. DVD set, $39.98. (Screen Media)