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‘Serenity’ gets a new life on DVD

Also new: ‘Four Brothers,’ ‘Brothers Grimm’  and season four of ‘ER’
/ Source: The Associated Press

Joss Whedon could not find an audience for his terrific TV series “Firefly,” about a motley assemblage of free spirits aboard a jalopy of a spaceship with a mysterious passenger pursued by government operatives. Whedon earned a second chance on the big screen with an excellent continuation, but he still could not find an audience much beyond the show’s cult fan base. Nathan Fillion leads the cast as the ship’s captain whose teenage passenger (Summer Glau) is at the center of a dark interstellar mystery. Whedon offers an introduction and commentary, and the DVD has extensive deleted scenes and outtakes, plus a look at the show’s die-hard enthusiasts. DVD, $29.98. (Universal) Read the review

“The Exorcism of Emily Rose”
What goes better with eggnog, caroling and other holiday trappings than a good, old-fashioned casting out of demons? The horror hit stars Laura Linney as a lawyer defending a priest (Tom Wilkinson) accused of homicide involving a teenage woman (Jennifer Carpenter) who died after an exorcism to rid her of evil spirits. The DVD comes in regular strength, with the PG-13-rated theatrical version, or in an extra-demonic edition with an unrated cut that adds some scarier moments. Both versions include commentary from director Scott Derrickson, a deleted scene and three featurettes, including one examining the “based-on-a-true-story” roots of the movie. DVD, $28.95. (Sony) Read the review

“Four Brothers”

Mark Wahlberg, Garrett Hedlund and Tyrese Gibson in Four Brothers.
Mark Wahlberg, Garrett Hedlund and Tyrese Gibson in Four Brothers.

Their DNA may not match up, but Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, Andre Benjamin and Garrett Hedlund forge a rich sibling bond in John Singleton’s revenge thriller. The foursome play adopted brothers taken in as troubled youths by a feisty foster mom, whose slaying during a grocery-store robbery brings the boys together again to track down and punish her killer. DVD featurettes examine such matters as the gritty, mean-streets feel Singleton captures on film and the over-the-top gunfight that turns the brothers’ boyhood home into Swiss cheese. Singleton offers commentary, and the DVD also has nine deleted scenes. DVD, $29.99. (Paramount) Read the review

“Must Love Dogs”

A toxic dose of the cutes overruns Diane Lane and John Cusack’s romantic comedy, which nevertheless became a solid draw for the chick-flick crowd. Lane plays a divorced woman with no prospects or interest in love until her meddling family steps in, signing her up for an online romance service that lands her dates with a bunch of losers until Mr. Right (Cusack, who else?) comes along. The DVD skimps on the extras, including only a handful of deleted scenes accompanied by commentary and a gag reel. DVD, $28.98. (Warner Bros.) Read the review

“The Brothers Grimm”

Terry Gilliam had a clever fantasy story ideally suited to his whimsical visual flair and appealing stars in Matt Damon, Heath Ledger and Monica Bellucci. But his collaboration with Bob Weinstein, co-founder of Miramax Films, turned out to be a marriage made in Neverland as ongoing clashes resulted in long delays and a second-rate fairy tale. Damon and Ledger play the 19th century folklorists as con men profiting off the rabble’s fear of the supernatural, until they encounter a real sorceress (Bellucci) terrorizing local townsfolk. Gilliam provides commentary for the full movie and deleted scenes, and the film’s visual style is examined in a featurette. DVD, $29.99. (Dimension) Read the review

“Chicago: The Razzle-Dazzle Edition”The 2002 Academy Awards champ is back in a new two-disc set loaded with features. Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who won the supporting-actress Oscar, star in the adaptation of Bob Fosse’s stage musical about murder, scandal and stardom in 1920s Chicago. Among the DVD extras are extended musical performances and song rehearsals, a segment examining the story’s history from stage to screen, profiles of the movie’s Oscar-winning production designer and costume designer, and a look at director Rob Marshall (“Memoirs of a Geisha”). DVD set, $29.99. (Miramax)

“One Day in September”A reissue of director Kevin MacDonald’s 1999 Oscar-winning documentary leads a batch of DVD releases timed to Steven Spielberg’s “Munich,” a thriller about the slaying of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Olympics and the hit squad assigned to hunt down Palestinians suspected of plotting the massacre. Narrated by Michael Douglas, “One Day in September” includes an interview with the only survivor of the Palestinian extremist group involved. The 1976 TV movie “21 Hours at Munich” stars William Holden in a dramatization of the hostage standoff and slayings. “The Tragedy of the Munich Games” is a new ESPN documentary featuring interviews with ABC’s Jim McKay and Peter Jennings and others recollecting the massacre. “One Day in September,” “21 Hours at Munich” DVDs, $19.94 each. (Sony); “The Tragedy of the Munich Games” DVD, $14.99. (Hart Sharp)

TV on DVD:

“ER: The Complete Fourth Season” — The original cast including George Clooney, Anthony Edwards and Julianna Margulies still largely intact, the venerable medical drama’s 1997-98 season packs 22 episodes in a six-disc set. Along with deleted scenes, the set has featurettes on the season opener that was broadcast live. DVD set, $49.98. (Warner Bros.)

“The Amazing Race: The Seventh Season” — Airing earlier this year, the seventh installment of the acclaimed reality series sends competitors on another global trek. The four-disc set has 12 episodes, each containing unaired footage, with contestants contributing commentary on four. DVD set, $39.98. (Paramount)

“Party of Five: The Complete Second Season” — Life after mom and dad goes on for the orphan family led by Matthew Fox and Neve Campbell, whose 1995-96 season is packaged in a five-disc set with 22 episodes. Extras include cast and crew commentaries plus a look back at the show with co-star Jennifer Love Hewitt. DVD set, $49.95. (Sony)

“Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.0” — Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell lead the remnants of humanity against a robot empire in the update of the 1970s sci-fi series. The three-disc set has 10 episodes from the latest installment that aired earlier this year, arriving on DVD as the season resumes with new episodes in January. DVD set, $49.98. (Universal)

Other new releases:

“Rebound” — Martin Lawrence fouls out, clangs one off the rim — pick your own basketball metaphor to describe this woeful comedy about a high-strung college coach sent to run a junior high team. The DVD has commentary from the screenwriters. DVD, $27.98. (20th Century Fox) Read the review

“Cry Wolf” — Teens who concoct an Internet rumor about a serial killer at their prep school find their pranks coming true as bodies start piling up. The DVD comes in the PG-13-rated theatrical version or an unrated edition. The DVD has commentary and a short film by the filmmakers. DVD, $29.98. (Universal)

“November” — Courtney Cox leaves her “Friends” behind for a dark psychological puzzler about a photographer whose reality begins to fracture after her boyfriend (James Le Gros) is murdered in a store holdup. Director Greg Harrison joins the screenwriter and cinematographer on two separate commentary tracks. DVD, $24.96. (Sony) Read the review