DVD extras add to Eastwood's Oscar winner

New on DVD

July 21, 2005|By Susan King | Susan King,LOS ANGELES TIMES

Clint Eastwood has yet to do a commentary track for a DVD of one his movies, a tradition he doesn't break on the three-disc set of his Academy Award-winning best picture, Million Dollar Baby (Warner Home Video, $30).

Still, the extras are as low-key and unfussy as Eastwood's haunting pugilist drama. "Born to Fight" offers a compelling look at parallels between the movie and real-life boxer Lucia Rijker, who appears in the film. The documentary also features intelligent interviews with Eastwood, who picked up his second Oscar for best director, and actress and supporting actor winners Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman.

Another documentary, "Producers Round 15," offers equally astute interviews with producers Al Ruddy, Tom Rosenberg and screenwriter Paul Haggis, who discuss the genesis of the project and their relationship with the late novelist F.X. Toole, who wrote the short stories on which Million Dollar Baby is based.

Rounding out the extras is "James Lipton Takes on Three," which has the host of Inside the Actors Studio interviewing the three stars shortly after receiving their Oscars.

The third disc in the set is a CD of Eastwood's score.

Also new

A Very Long Engagement (Warner, $30): This 2004 drama reunited Jean-Pierre Jeunet with Audrey Tautou, the director and star, respectively, of the popular whimsical French comedy Amelie. Tautou plays a determined young woman who refuses to believe her fiance was killed during World War I. The two-disc set has several worthwhile extras, including an in-depth documentary on the film's production, 14 deleted scenes and breezy commentary with Jeunet.

Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Collection (MGM, $30): Whoa! A righteous three-disc set featuring the hit comedies Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter as cool high school dudes. The third disc is filled with cool extras, including "The Most Triumphant Making Of Documentary" and a groovy conversation with screenwriters Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon.

Tales From the Crypt -- The Complete First Season (Warner, $27): Ghoulish HBO series based on the horror comic books that had a healthy run on the cable network in the 1990s. The set includes a fascinating documentary on the history of the controversial comic book.

Night Moves (Warner, $20): Underrated 1975 film noir has gained in reputation over the years. Gene Hackman is perfectly cast as a struggling Los Angeles private investigator who gets a lot more than he bargains for when he is hired by an actress to find her fast-living teenage daughter (Melanie Griffith). Tautly directed by Arthur Penn.

Scarecrow (Warner, $20): Though this poignant 1973 buddy picture was co-winner of the Palm d'Or at the Cannes film festival, it wasn't a hit when released. Gene Hackman and Al Pacino, in his first post-The Godfather role, star in this picaresque drama about two unlikely traveling companions.

Titus -- Season 1 & 2 (Anchor Bay, $45): Stand-up comedian Christopher Titus has managed to find humor in his dysfunctional upbringing -- a much-married father and mentally unbalanced mother. In 1990, he brought his unique brand of dark humor to TV in this anti-family sitcom that aired on Fox. The set includes all 31 episodes of the series, commentary from Titus and creators Brian Hargrove and Jack Kenny, a brutally honest interview with Titus -- and boring rehearsal footage.

Coming Tuesday

The Upside of Anger, XXX: State of the Union, King's Ransom and Steamboy

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