Selected home-video releases:
“The Matador” – Former James Bond Pierce Brosnan proves he’s far more than just agent 007 in this taut black comedy about a burned-out hit man whose life depends on him completing one final job.
Brosnan’s a marvel of world-weary charm as an assassin on the outs with his employers – and himself – who finds a connection to the real world when he insinuates himself into the lives of a financially troubled salesman and his wife (Greg Kinnear and Hope Davis).
Along with 11 deleted scenes, the DVD has two commentaries featuring Brosnan, Kinnear and writer-director Richard Shepard. The disc also has a making-of feature. $28.95. (Genius)
“The Libertine” – If you thought Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean” was a self-indulgent gadabout, try out this dark historical pageant as a warm-up to his next high-seas adventure.
The film stars Depp as the insatiably depraved and scandalous 17th century bad boy John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester, who lewdly parties his way toward self-annihilation. Costarring John Malkovich and Samantha Morton, the movie generally is a ponderous bust, though worthwhile for Depp fans if only for the actor’s commitment to the wild abandon the role demands.
The DVD has 10 deleted scenes, a making-of segment and commentary from director Laurence Dunmore. $28.95. (Genius)
“Docurama Film Festival” – Docurama, one of the premiere documentary labels, offers up a rush of real-life stories in its first home-video “film festival,” aimed at bringing movies that don’t make it to the multiplex into viewers’ living rooms.
The 10 titles include the Academy Award-winning “Broken Rainbow,” the story of Navajo Indians forced off their land amid energy exploration, and three other Oscar-nominated films: “Sister Rose’s Passion,” about a nun battling anti-Semitism; “Legacy,” the chronicle of a family in Chicago’s housing projects determined to pull itself out of poverty; and “Doing Time: Life Inside the Big House,” an unflinching look at the realities of prison.
The other six releases are the foster-care study “Aging Out”; “The Fire Next Time,” a portrait of a Montana town at crossroads; “Omar &Pete,” the tale of two ex-cons trying to go straight; “The Police Tapes,” a look at the world of New York beat cops; the labor-union narrative “The Wobblies”; and “Full Frame Documentary Shorts: Vol. 4,” a collection of six short documentaries. $26.95 each. (Docurama)
“Richard Thompson: 1000 Years of Popular Music” – It started with folk-rock icon Thompson deciding to call Playboy’s bluff in 1999, when the magazine asked him and other musicians for their picks of the millennium’s 10 best songs. Thompson sensed Playboy really only wanted recent songs recognizable to modern readers, but he did a true best-of-the-millennium list that went back centuries.
His list wasn’t among those published, but it gave Thompson the idea to begin his “1000 Years of Popular Music” live shows. This set captures one of those concerts, Thompson tearing through 22 songs that include a 15th century ballad, the 19th century traditional tune “Shenandoah,” Cole Porter’s “Night and Day,” the Merseybeat pop hit “Friday on My Mind” and Britney Spears’ “Oops! … I Did It Again.” The set includes the performance on CDs. $28.98. (Cooking Vinyl)
TV on DVD
“Dr. Who: The Complete First Series” – Christopher Eccleston stars in the title role of this new incarnation of the venerable British sci-fi series, about a time-traveling, space-faring scientist and a shop girl who wander the cosmos fighting aliens, zombies and other menaces to Earth. $99.98. (BBC)
“Charlie’s Angels: The Complete Third Season” – Crime-fighting angels Jaclyn Smith, Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd carouse through more sexy detective stories, with departed angel Farrah Fawcett reprising her role in three guest appearances. $49.95. (Sony)
“The Dead Zone: The Complete Fourth Season” – Anthony Michael Hall, the guy with the sixth sense for doom and gloom, resumes his psychic ways, using his visions to help people out of impending calamity. The set includes a bonus Christmas episode, deleted scenes, commentary. $34.98. (Lionsgate)
Other new releases
“Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing &Charm School” – Robert Carlyle, Marisa Tomei, Mary Steenburgen, Danny DeVito and John Goodman lead the cast in this toe-tapping charmer about a widower who fulfills a dying man’s wish and ends up finding romance at a dance school. The DVD includes the 1990 short film on which the movie is based. $26.96. (Sony)
“Stoned” – One of the casualties of 1960s rock stardom was Rolling Stones member Brian Jones, played bt Leo Gregory in this biopic, available in its R-rated cut or an unrated version. $19.98. (Screen Media)