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Pick up ‘Lemony Snicket’ on DVD

Also new, ‘Doris Day Collection’ plus something for ‘Waltons’ fans. By David Germain
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events”Jim Carrey’s dark-tinged family hit, adapted from the children’s books by Daniel Handler, comes to DVD in two varieties, a single disc with a fair amount of extras and a rather pricey two-disc set that piles on more background materials. Carrey puts on multiple disguises as Count Olaf, a conniver out to bump off three resourceful orphans so he can swipe their inheritance. Both DVD versions have commentary with director Brad Silberling, who also joins with Handler in his Lemony Snicket persona for an amusingly self-deprecating second commentary track, plus deleted scenes and three featurettes. The two-disc set adds a dozen more featurettes examining costumes, music, special effects and other behind-the-scenes topics. Single DVD, $29.99; two-disc set, $38.99. (Paramount) Original theatrical review

“The Doris Day Collection”With a dramatic aside or two, this set is the bright and bonny home-video choice of the week, packaging eight of Day’s films from the 1950s and ’60s, six of them making their DVD debuts. Highlighting the new releases are “Love Me Or Leave Me,” co-starring James Cagney,” and “Young Man With a Horn,” with Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall. The set also contains “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Billy Rose’s Jumbo,” “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” and “The Glass Bottom Boat,” plus the previously released DVDs “Calamity Jane” and “The Pajama Game.” The films also are available separately. Single DVDs, $19.97 each; DVD set, $88.92. (Warner Bros.)

“Blade: Trinity”

Wesley Snipes’ part-man, part-vampire hunter of the undead is back for his third go-round, this time paired with a couple of high-tech deputies (Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds) as he takes on the king of the bloodsuckers, Dracula. The DVD comes in the R-rated theatrical version or an unrated edition with 10 minutes more footage. Both two-disc sets include an alternate ending and a thorough behind-the-scenes feature, plus a conversation with writer-director David S. Goyer. Biel, Reynolds, Goyer and other collaborators provide two commentary tracks for the unrated version. DVD set, $29.95. (New Line) Original theatrical review

“Intervista”The ultimate Federico Fellini inside joke is a touching, rollicking portrait of his career and the Italian studio Cinecitta, where he shot his masterpieces. Incorporating fact, fiction and fantasy, Fellini’s 1987 mock documentary presents a Japanese film crew interviewing the director and trailing him on a make-believe movie shoot. The film reunites Fellini with his “La Dolce Vita” stars Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg, and offers a re-creation of Fellini’s first visit to Cinecitta as a young man. DVD, $29.98. (Koch Lorber)

Criterion titles:

“Andrzej Wajda: Three War Films” — The master of Polish cinema established himself with a trilogy of 1950s films — “A Generation,” “Kanal” and “Ashes and Diamonds” — set amid the Resistance that fought the Nazis. The three-disc set has interviews with Wajda and associates, a short film from his student days, and his conversation with a participant in the Warsaw ghetto uprising. DVD set, $79.95. (Criterion)

“Divorce Italian Style” — Pietro Germi’s hysterical 1961 romp stars Marcello Mastroianni as a man scheming to trick his annoying wife into another man’s arms so he can do away with her and marry his sexy cousin. Extras on the two-disc set include a documentary on Germi and interviews with his actors and other collaborators. DVD set, $39.95. (Criterion)

“F for Fake” — Sleight-of-hand maestro Orson Welles presents a whimsical glimpse into fakes and phonies of all sorts, among them art forger Elmyr de Hory and Clifford Irving, who wrote a bogus biography of Howard Hughes. Released in a two-disc set, the 1972 film has an introduction by Peter Bogdanovich and a documentary about Welles’ unfinished projects. DVD set, $39.95. (Criterion)

TV on DVD:

“ER: The Complete Third Season” — The medical drama’s original stars, including George Clooney, Anthony Edwards and Julianna Margulies, are back for year three of life in a pressure-cooker emergency room. The six disc set has 22 episodes, with commentary on two and two background featurettes. DVD set, $49.98. (Warner Bros.)

“The Waltons: The Complete Second Season” — The world’s happiest dirt-poor family continues to make do on Walton’s Mountain during the Depression. Year two of the long-running drama starring Richard Thomas, Ralph Waite and Michael Learned comes to DVD in a five-disc set with 24 episodes. DVD set, $39.98. (Warner Bros.)

“Survivor: The Australian Outback” — Year two maintained the reality series’ ratings dominance as a new gang of 16 castaways duked it out for survival-of-the-network-fittest honors. The six-disc set has commentary by contestants and host Jeff Probst on six episodes, plus four featurettes. DVD set, $49.99. (Paramount.)

“Highway to Heaven: Season One” — After “Little House on the Prairie,” Michael Landon continued his wholesome TV run as a guardian angel dispensing hope and guidance to lost souls in this family series that debuted in 1984. The first 24 episodes are packed on seven discs, accompanied by a documentary about Landon. DVD set, $79.95. (A&E)

“The American Revolution” — A five-disc set presents a tremendous history lesson examining the battles, personalities and causes of the Revolutionary War. Besides tracing such key events as the Declaration of Independence and Cornwallis’ surrender, the set has “Biography” series installments on George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere and Benedict Arnold. DVD set, $69.95. (A&E)

“Quatermass” — John Mills stars in the 1979 British miniseries about a rocket scientist who uses brains over brawn to save humanity in a bleak future where a menace from space endangers the planet’s youth. The two-disc set has the four-hour series and a shortened theatrical version. DVD set, $39.95. (A&E)

Other new releases:

“The Assassination of Richard Nixon” — Sean Penn stars in the real-life story of a 1970s failure in business and marriage who sets out to kill President Nixon with an unnerving plot: Hijacking a jet and crashing it into the White House. DVD, $27.95. (New Line) Original theatrical review

“Undertow” — The quiet lives of a Southern teen (Jamie Bell), his younger brother and his dad (Dermot Mulroney) are thrown into turmoil by the arrival of his ne’er-do-well uncle (Josh Lucas). The DVD has deleted scenes, while Bell and director David Gordon Green offer commentary. DVD, 26.98. (MGM) Original theatrical review