'The Golden Compass'
A surprise Academy Award winner for visual effects over blockbuster "Transformers," this fantasy adventure proved a critical and commercial lightweight compared to its studio stablemate, "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Featuring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, the movie follows the otherworldly travels of a 12-year-old orphan, who becomes the keeper of the last "golden compass" - a mechanism whose magic powers include revealing the truth and offering glimpses into the future. The movie comes in two-disc DVD and Blu-ray sets with commentary from director Chris Weitz and 11 featurettes including a segment on the show-stopping effects sequence that pits two armored polar bears in a duel. Single DVD, $28.98; two-disc DVD Set, $34.99; Blu-ray set, $39.98.
The romantic comedy that's also a major mystery - as in just how is it that a woman who looks like Katherine Heigl cannot find a husband? Heigl stars as the ultimate always-a-bridesmaid pal, a woman who has stood up as a member of the wedding 27 times without getting any closer to her own nuptials. She's finally jolted into action after her secret, unrequited love ends up falling for her own sister. The DVD and Blu-ray high-definition discs have deleted scenes and four featurettes, including one on wedding gown designs. DVD, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.98.
'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly'
One of last year's most-acclaimed films also was an unlikely literary adaptation given its source material - the memoir of French Elle Editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who was immobilized in the prime of life by a stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome, able to communicate only by blinking an eye. Mathieu Amalric stars as Bauby, who painstakingly dictates his memoir through blinks, one letter at a time. DVD, $29.99.
'The Fall of the Roman Empire'
Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott's Roman adventure "Gladiator" borrowed liberally from the story-line of this 1964 epic with an all-star cast including Alec Guinness, Sophia Loren, James Mason, Christopher Plummer and Omar Sharif. Director Anthony Mann's tale traces the power struggle and political decline that emerges after Rome's emperor, Marcus Aurelius, picks his adopted son to succeed him rather than his unstable biological son. Available in a two-disc DVD package or a three-disc "Collector's Edition" boxed set, the movie is accompanied by five making-of segments and commentary with producer Samuel Bronston's son. Two-disc set, $24.95; "Collector's Edition" set, $39.92.
TV on DVD:
"The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Volume Three - The Years of Change" - DVD set, $129.99.
"Cheers: The Ninth Season" - DVD set, $42.99.
"The Waltons: The Complete Seventh Season" - DVD set, $39.98.
"Beverly Hills 90210: The Fourth Season" - DVD set, $61.99.
"Dark Shadows: The Beginning - DVD Set, $59.98.
"Arizona Diamondbacks 2001 World Series Collector's Edition" - DVD set, $69.95.
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