‘Spider-Man 3’ arrives, with plenty of extras

  • By David Germain Associated Press
  • Monday, October 29, 2007 2:59pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Selected home-video releases:

“Spider-Man 3”: The year’s top-grossing hit swings onto DVD and high-definition Blu-ray disc on its own and in collections packaged with the two earlier installments of director Sam Raimi’s comic-book franchise.

The main players return for the conclusion of the love triangle and friends-turned-foes saga among Spidey (Tobey Maguire), Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) and Harry (James Franco). The film also introduces two new enemies scheming against Spider-Man, the Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) and Venom (Topher Grace).

A single-disc DVD ($28.97) has commentary with cast and crew, while two-disc DVD ($36.95) and Blu-ray releases($49.95) are stuffed with extras, among them a look at one of the coolest effects the franchise has devised, the transformation of Church into Sandman. Further segments examine stunt sequences and the origins of the other villains.

The latest film also comes packaged with “Spider-Man” and “Spider-Man 2” in DVD ($38.96) and Blu-ray boxed sets ($98.95). (Sony)

“License to Wed”: In this lame comedy, prospective spouses must meet the outrageous domestic demands of preacherman Robin Williams before they are allowed to exchange vows. Williams stars as a minister who puts the not-so-happy bride (Mandy Moore) and groom (John Krasinski) through an exercise in premarital torture before he’ll sign off on their nuptials, his methods including bizarre role-playing, parenting practice with robot infants and high-tech surveillance to make sure they follow his no-sex-before-marriage rule.

The DVD has deleted scenes accompanied by commentary from director Ken Kwapis. Along with the DVD release ($28.98), the movie is available in a high-definition Blu-ray disc ($34.99) and a combination disc with both standard DVD and high-definition HD DVD versions ($39.99). (Warner Bros.)

“El Cantante”: This passion project for real-life marrieds Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony lives up to musical expectations with its buoyant soundtrack, but there’s little passion in the dour story of drug addiction, family tragedy and other adversity in the lives of salsa star Hector Lavoe and his wife. The film biography follows the rise and fall of Lavoe, who pioneered the musical style in the 1970s. The DVD has a behind-the-segments on the music and story behind the film, on which Lopez was a producer, plus commentary with director Leon Ichaso and his co-writers. $27.95. (New Line)

“Talk to Me”: Don Cheadle was born to gab his way through this film biography about Ralph “Petey” Greene, a former prison inmate who became an outspoken radio personality and activist amid the civil-rights movement of the 1960s. Cheadle leads a sturdy cast that includes Chiwetel Ejiofor as the station manager who gives Greene a shot on the radio, plus Martin Sheen, Cedric the Entertainer and Mike Epps. The film from director Kasi Lemmons is accompanied by deleted scenes, a feature on Greene and his significance in black politics of the era and a segment on the movie’s re-creation of 1960s and ’70s style through music and fashion. $29.98. (Universal)

“Looney Tunes: Golden Collection — Volume Five”: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and other cartoon favorites return in a new gathering of classic “Looney Tunes” shorts. The four-disc set packs 60 cartoons, with one disc devoted to Bugs and Daffy’s adventures, one focused on spoofs of beloved fairy tales, one gathering prime “Looney Tunes” from master animator Bob Clampett and one packed with rare early cartoons from the Warner Bros. vaults. Many of the shorts come with commentary by filmmakers and animation experts, and the set has a documentary on Looney Tunes maestro Chuck Jones.

Along with the four-disc collection ($64.92), an abridged two-disc “Spotlight Collection” ($26.99) containing 30 cartoons is available. (Warner Bros.)

TV on DVD

“Twin Peaks: Definitive Gold Box Edition”: Fans of cherry pie and a great cup of coffee finally have easy access to the entire TV run of David Lynch’s darkly comic 1990s saga. The 10-disc set includes the two-hour pilot, previously available only as an import DVD, and all 29 episodes of the short-lived series, whose two seasons previously had been released by separate studios. Along with deleted scenes, the set has a look back at the show with Lynch and cast members, including Kyle MacLachlan, who starred as an FBI agent applying bizarre techniques to solve a teen’s murder in a small Northwest town. $108.99. (Paramount)

“My So-Called Life: The Complete Series”: Another beloved but short-lived ’90s show, whose earlier release was long out of print, returns to DVD. Claire Danes got her start here as a pensive teen whose circle of family and friends struggle with alienation, homelessness, abuse, homophobia and other serious issues. A six-disc set packs all 19 episodes, plus interviews with Danes and the show’s overseers and commentary from cast and crew. $69.99. (Shout)

“Family Guy: Freakin’ Party Pack — The Complete DVD Collection”: The animated comedy, which was canceled and revived because of fan furor, centers on the demented Griffin clan, whose members include a whip-smart dog and a warped baby. The 18-disc set gathers about 90 episodes and comes in a cleverly designed box with such party essentials as playing cards, poker chips and pingpong equipment. $149.98. (20th Century Fox)

“Angel: Seasons 1-5”: The spinoff of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” stars David Boreanaz as the vampire with a soul who tries to make amends for centuries of bloodletting. The set has all five seasons, with deleted scenes, commentary and other extras previously included in single-season DVD releases. $139.98. (20th Century Fox)

“CSI: Miami — The Fifth Season”: David Caruso returns to the scene of the crime in the first spinoff of the franchise. The six-disc set has 24 episodes, along with commentary and featurettes. $64.99. (Paramount)

“Scrubs: The Complete Sixth Season”: Zach Braff and his hospital pals are back with a three-disc set packing year six’s 22 episodes, plus deleted scenes and commentary. $39.99. (Disney)

“Benny Hill: The Complete Megaset”: The British comedian’s bawdy escapades are captured in an 18-disc set with all 58 episodes of his sketch comedy show that aired from 1969 to ‘89. The set also has a documentary on Hill and a handful of features. $149.95. (A&E)

“Family Affair: Season Four”: The sitcom from the 1960s and ’70s stars Brian Keith as a bachelor caring for his late brother’s three kids. The fourth season’s 25 episodes come in a five-disc package. $39.98. (MPI)

Other new releases

“No End in Sight”: Charles Ferguson’s acclaimed documentary offers a glimpse into the Bush administration’s motives and conduct in the Iraq war and examines why the conflict has lingered on in chaotic perpetuity. $26.98. (Magnolia)

“Captivity”: A poor cousin of sadism for the “Saw” crowd, this horror flick stars Elisha Cuthbert as a cover-girl model who is abducted and subjected to bloody torture. $28.98. (Lionsgate)

“In the Land of Women”: Meg Ryan leads the cast in this tale of a heartbroken screenwriter (Adam Brody) caught up in the lives of a single mom and her daughters. $27.95. (Warner Bros.)

“The Three Stooges Collection: Volume One — 1934-36”: After a series of random single-disc compilations, studio bosses finally begin releasing the Stooges the way fans want them: In chronological order, with a promise of all their comedy shorts eventually landing on DVD. The two-disc set has 19 slapstick farces featuring Curly, Larry and Moe. $24.96. (Sony)

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