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New on DVD

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 11.29.2005
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Just when did the presumed romance between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie begin? When they tore after each other with guns blazing through every room of their house? The hit action comedy stars Hollywood's current tabloid king and queen as a couple in a tired marriage who learn it's all a sham - that they're actually rival assassins whose next target is each other. The DVD offers some amusing deleted and extended sequences, especially those featuring co-star Vince Vaughn, who steals his scenes in a comic-relief role as Pitt's mama's boy associate. Commentary tracks feature director Doug Liman, the screenwriters and technical crew, while the DVD has a making-of featurette. Rated PG-13.
March of the Penguins
Every year it seems a hit comes out of nowhere about life in Antarctica. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, this chronicle of the mating rituals of emperor penguins turned into a surprise sensation, topping $70 million at the domestic box office to become the second-highest-grossing nonconcert and non-IMAX documentary ever, behind only "Fahrenheit 9/11." The film follows the arduous trek the penguins take each year, leaving their familiar and relatively cozy habitat to waddle 70 miles to one of Earth's harshest, coldest landscapes so they can pair off and reproduce. On DVD, the film is accompanied by a full-length making-of documentary revealing the tough process the filmmakers went through to capture both grand landscapes and intimate images of the birds. Also included is the classic Bugs Bunny cartoon in which the screwy rabbit tries to return a pesky penguin to the South Pole. Rated G.
Sky High
High school's a drag when you have no superpowers. This cute family flick stars Michael Angarano as a teen who starts high school with colossal pressure to succeed, since he's the son of the world's biggest superheroes (Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston). Only he's a late-bloomer with no apparent hidden abilities, initially relegated to the geek squad as a sidekick until his powers assert themselves and he and his pals take on a super-villain bent on a vengeful plot against the hero community. Along with an alternative opening and a blooper reel, the scant DVD extras include a behind-the-scenes featurette, a segment on the movie's stunts and a music video. Rated PG.
The Frighteners
Before he was the heavyweight behind "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and the upcoming "King Kong" remake, Peter Jackson specialized mainly in cult horror tinged with black comedy. His 1996 fright flick stars Michael J. Fox as a con man of a ghostbuster who is partners with the paranormal pests he's supposedly exterminating - until he's forced to hunt down a deadly spirit carrying out a string of murders. The new DVD version has Jackson's director's cut, incorporating 14 extra minutes of footage. Jackson provides an introduction and audio commentary, and he, Fox and co-stars Trini Alvarado, Dee Wallace Stone, Jake Busey and others offer comments in interviews. The disc also features a glimpse of Jackson's special-effects outfit at his New Zealand home base. Rated R.
The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island
Marking the 50th anniversary of Kermit the Frog are these DVD reissues of four Muppets feature films. "The Muppet Movie" from 1979 stars Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo and their pals, along with such celebrities as Steve Martin, Mel Brooks and Orson Welles, in a swamp-to-riches tale of the frog's rise to stardom. "The Great Muppet Caper" puts the gang on the trail of a jewel thief (Charles Grodin), "The Muppet Christmas Carol" casts Kermit as Bob Cratchit and Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge, and "Muppet Treasure Island" pits Kermit and crew against Long John Silver (Tim Curry). DVD extras offer gag profiles of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and Gonzo, while Brian Henson - son of Muppets creator Jim Henson - offers commentary on "Muppet Christmas Carol," which he also directed. All rated G.
Anne Hathaway and Bijou Phillips play sheltered, wealthy teens who are obsessed with street culture and end up getting in over their heads when they start associating with gang members. The somewhat cheap and exploitative material is enhanced by sharp dialogue and two career-topping performances from the lead actors. The direct-to-DVD film gets a spare treatment. The only extra feature is an alternative ending. Available in R-rated and unrated versions.
Big Fish: Special Edition
Meet the new "Big Fish" DVD, much the same as the old "Big Fish" DVD. Tim Burton's superb (2003) magical realism fairy-tale stars Ewan McGregor as a young man who makes his way in a world filled with giants, witches and magic. This release has the same special features as are on the first DVD, including a Burton commentary and several insightful featurettes. Those who already own "Big Fish" have little reason to buy it again. The one new addition is a 24-page booklet that comes packaged with the DVD. Rated PG-13.
● David Germain, The Associated Press. Star reporter Phil Villarreal contributed to this report.