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New DVDs: ‘Stranger than Fiction’

Also new: ‘Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny,’ ‘A Good Year,’ ‘The Return’
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Stranger Than Fiction”Will Ferrell tones down his antics and holds his own among a gifted cast in a more dramatic role with this thoughtful comedy about a sad little man whose impending doom finally prods him to get a life. Ferrell plays a lonely, compulsive tax auditor suddenly able to hear the voice of an author (Emma Thompson) as she narrates her latest novel — the story of his life and looming death. Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah and Maggie Gyllenhaal co-star. DVD featurettes include interviews with director Marc Forster and the cast, a look at the film’s Chicago locations and a segment on the graphic effects that help propel the story. The disc also has deleted scenes. DVD, $28.95; Blu-ray disc, $38.96. (Sony) Read the review

“Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny”

Jack Black lets his ego get the better of him with this needless comedy that offers a make-believe chronicle of how he and bandmate Kyle Gass started their musical duo Tenacious D. Featuring Tim Robbins, their early mentor, Ben Stiller and Meat Loaf in small roles, the movie follows two rock wannabes on a mission to retrieve a magical guitar pick, which pits them in a musical showdown with the devil. Director Liam Lynch, who co-wrote the screenplay with Black and Gass, offers introductions to deleted scenes and joins the actors for commentary. The DVD also has the duo’s “The Pick of Destiny” music video. DVD, $27.95. (New Line) Read the review

“A Good Year”Russell Crowe and his “Gladiator” director Ridley Scott reunite for a romantic date flick, a genre that does not suit either in this beautifully filmed but lightweight and uninspired story about life on the edge versus life in the slow lane. Crowe plays a cutthroat London investment whiz who takes a detour to Provence in France, where he has inherited his uncle’s vineyard, finding love and an excuse to kick back and smell the grapes. The DVD has commentary with Scott and screenwriter Marc Klein and a variety of background featurettes. There also is a conversation with Crowe and Scott and three music videos featuring Crowe, who has a side career as a musician. DVD, $29.98. (20th Century Fox) Read the review

“The Return”Sarah Michelle Gellar, star of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “The Grudge,” returns one time too many to the supernatural world for this horror tale that proved a box-office dud. Gellar stars as a business woman overcome by visions of the violent death of an unknown woman years earlier, sending her on a quest to unravel the mystery. Gellar is featured in a behind-the-scenes featurette, and the DVD includes an alternate ending and about 10 minutes of other deleted footage. DVD, $29.98. (Universal)

“Bob Dylan: Don’t Look Back — 65 Tour Deluxe Edition”On its 40th anniversary, D.A. Pennebaker’s landmark documentary of Dylan’s 1965 concert tour of England returns in an expansive new DVD release. The two-disc set has the original film, accompanied by commentary from Pennebaker and the tour’s road manager, Bob Neuwirth, along with an alternate version of Dylan’s famous cue-card segment for “Subterranean Homesick Blues. The second disc has a newly created follow-up, “Bob Dylan 65 Revisited,” which Pennebaker crafted from previously unreleased footage. Pennebaker and Neuwirth also offer commentary for the new film. The set includes a reproduction of a 1968 companion book with a transcription of the film and hundreds of photos. DVD set, $49.95. (Docurama)

TV on DVD:

“POV: 20th Anniversary Collection” — A mammoth 15-disc set packs a collection of documentaries that aired on the venerable PBS series that showcases nonfiction film. The 15 documentaries include the illegal-immigration chronicle “Farmingville,” the Vietnam-themed films “Regret to Inform” and “Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision,” the homophobia examination “Licensed to Kill” and the linguistic study “American Tongues.” DVD set, $249.95. (Docurama)

“Secret Agent AKA Danger Man: The Complete Collection” — Before starring in the cult series “The Prisoner,” Patrick McGoohan had an espionage gig in this 1960s show about an ace operative for British intelligence. The 18-disc set has all 86 episodes from the first season that aired as “Danger Man” and the show’s later incarnation as “Secret Agent.” DVD set, $149.95. (A&E)

“Girlfriends: The First Season” — The personal and professional lives of four chic Los Angeles women play out with “Sex and the City” camaraderie in this comedy series. The first 22 episodes come in a four-disc set. DVD set, $39.99. (Paramount)

“The Rockford Files: Season Three” — James Garner returns as the laid-back private eye with a five-disc set packing year three’s 22 episodes. DVD set, $39.98. (Universal)

“Magnum P.I.: The Complete Sixth Season” — Tom Selleck is back as the Hawaiian detective in a five-disc set that has all 20 episodes from year six and a bonus episode from season seven. DVD set, $49.98. (Universal)

Other new releases:

“Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut” — Oliver Stone just can’t let his historical flop alone, releasing the third version of his 2004 epic starring Colin Farrell as the ancient conqueror. This edition runs 3½ hours, adding 30 minutes to the theatrical cut. Stone provides an introduction. DVD set, $24.98. (Warner Bros.)

“Tideland” — Terry Gilliam spins a strange one, even for him. This “Alice in Wonderland” nightmare follows a neglected girl (Jodelle Ferland) who concocts a frightening fantasy world where she can escape from the real terrors of her isolated home life. Jeff Bridges co-stars. The two-disc set has commentary and interviews with Gilliam. DVD set, $27.98. (ThinkFilm)

“The Heart of the Game” — Director Ward Serrill trails along for six seasons with the girls basketball team at Roosevelt High in Seattle as they try to build a championship squad. The documentary follows the team’s tough, idiosyncratic coach and star player, who finds herself in a battle to regain eligibility to play. The DVD has deleted scenes and commentary. DVD, $29.99. (Miramax)