IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

New DVDs: ‘The Sentinel,’ ‘Take the Lead’

Also new: ‘Friends with Money,’ season two of ‘Desperate Housewives’
20Th Century Fox
/ Source: The Associated Press

“The Sentinel”Here’s hoping the Secret Service keeps closer tabs on its business and agents than is depicted in this assassination thriller, which features one of the most preposterous illicit love affairs ever. Michael Douglas stars as a veteran agent who’s carrying on with a certain prominent Washington lady and ends up on the run as key suspect in a plot to kill the president. Kiefer Sutherland, Eva Longoria and Kim Basinger co-star. The DVD includes deleted scenes and an alternate ending that adds a silly coda to the romance in which Douglas’ character has been involved. Director Clark Johnson and screenwriter George Nolfi offer commentary, and the disc has two featurettes on the Secret Service and the job of protecting the president. DVD, $29.98. (20th Century Fox) Read the review

Two old Douglas titles return to DVD in new editions: “Romancing the Stone” and its sequel “The Jewel of the Nile,” with Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito in the globe-trotting adventures of a romance novelist and a lovable rogue. Both movies come with deleted scenes and featurettes and are available as single discs or in a set with both DVDs. DVDs, $19.98 each; two-disc set, $29.98. (20th Century Fox)

“Take the Lead”

It’s feel-good time on the dance floor as Antonio Banderas plays a hoofing instructor who’s hired by a high-school principal (Alfre Woodard) to teach ballroom moves to the toughest inner-city teens on her watch. Inspired by the grade-school dance programs depicted in the documentary “Mad Hot Ballroom,” the slick flick plays out with sugary predictability and piles on showy formal dance steps crossed with hip-hop moves to enliven the action. The DVD has deleted footage, dance featurettes including one on the instructor who was the basis for Banderas’ character, and commentary from director Liz Friedlander. DVD, $28.98. (New Line) Read the review

“Friends With Money”

Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Keener and Joan Cusack in Sony Pictures Classics' Friends With Money - 2006
Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Keener and Joan Cusack in Sony Pictures Classics' Friends With Money - 2006

In real life, we’re betting former “Friends” darling Jennifer Aniston has more money than Frances McDormand, Catherine Keener and Joan Cusack combined. But in this sharply written comic drama, Aniston’s the odd friend out, playing an irresolute woman who’s given up teaching and cleans people’s houses for a living in between hanging with her three well-to-do pals (McDormand, Keener and Cusack). The DVD has a making-of featurette and a segment on its premiere at last winter’s Sundance Film Festival, where it was the opening-night movie. Writer-director Nicole Holofcener and producer Anthony Bregman team for commentary. DVD, $28.95. (Sony) Read the review

“Akeelah and the Bee”


Hollywood loves a good spelling bee. After the crowd-pleasing documentary “Spellbound” and the tepid drama “Bee Season” comes this solidly engaging tale of an inner-city girl (Keke Palmer in a terrific performance) whose innate ability to spell puts her on a fast-track to regional spelling bees and then the national championship. The movie’s a reunion for “What’s Love Got to Do With It” stars Laurence Fishburne, who plays Palmer’s spelling mentor, and Angela Bassett, who plays the girl’s skeptical mother. Along with deleted scenes, the DVD has three featurettes, a gag reel and a music video featuring Palmer. DVD, $28.98. (Lionsgate) Read the review

“The Lord of the Rings”The filmmakers are not quite done wringing money out of Middle-earth. Peter Jackson’s blockbuster trilogy “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King” are back in slim two-disc editions that include both the theatrical versions and the extended cuts, which add between 30 and 50 minutes of extra footage. Both versions of each film are crammed onto double-sided discs, the movies accompanied by a second DVD containing feature-length behind-the-scenes documentaries. The all-new documentaries are different from the DVD extras that came with the original two-disc theatrical versions and the four-disc extended-edition packages, but the new sets lack the copious background materials and commentaries of those earlier releases. Die-hards will want to keep the old releases and clear extra space on their DVD shelves for these new editions, while casual fans probably can just stick with the previous sets. DVD sets, $28.98 each. (New Line)

TV on DVD:

“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Second Season” — Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Nicollette Sheridan wreak more mayhem in America’s most sordid suburb. A six-disc set has year two’s 24 episodes, along with extra storylines on Hatcher and Huffman’s characters that were shot but never aired. DVD set, $59.99. (Disney)

“Will & Grace: Season Five” — Debra Messing and Eric McCormack are joined by all-star guest casts for year five, including Madonna, Demi Moore, Elton John and Andy Garcia. The season’s 24 episodes come in a four-disc set. DVD set, $44.98. (Lionsgate)

“Survivor: Palau” — The 10th season of the reality show comes in a four-disc set with 15 episodes, plus commentary from cast members on five. The set also has four featurettes with interviews by contestants. DVD set, $54.99. (Paramount)

“Arrested Development: Season Three” — The greatly acclaimed but canceled sitcom is back in a two-disc set with all 13 season three episodes, plus deleted scenes. Series creator Mitchell Hurwitz and cast members including Jason Bateman offer commentary. DVD set, $29.98. (20th Century Fox)

“South Park: The Complete Eighth Season” — The timing’s right for year eight of the crude animated satire, which includes an episode in which the boys hunt down Mel Gibson to demand their money back after seeing “The Passion of the Christ.” The three-disc set has 14 episodes, with commentary from series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. DVD set, $49.99. (Paramount)

“Nip/Tuck: The Complete Third Season” — Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon are plastic surgeons whose latest body work includes makeovers for victims of a serial slasher. Year three’s 15 episodes are contained in a six-disc set, with deleted scenes and two featurettes. DVD set, $59.98. (Warner Bros.)

“The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Seventh Season” — Mayberry’s friendly sheriff, son Opie and Aunt Bea are back with a five-disc set packing all 30 episodes from the sitcom’s seventh year. DVD set, $42.99. (Paramount)

“The Tick Vs. Season One” — The big, blue and very confused superhero of the 1990s animated series lives on. The comic tale of a crime-fighter battling bizarre villains returns in a two-disc set with 12 episodes, though one episode from the first season is missing. DVD set, $34.99. (Disney)