Will Smith shows his powers in 'Hancock'

Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2008


Will Smith shows off his box-office superpowers again, taking a dark story about a superhero who despises the people he's bound to protect and turning it into his latest summer hit. Smith plays the title role, a boozy misanthrope with a strange connection to a woman (Charlize Theron) whose husband (Jason Bateman) tries to give the hero a makeover to improve his public image. The PG-13-rated theatrical release and an unrated version with extra footage are available in separate single-disc DVD releases, while a two-disc DVD set and the Blu-ray edition contain both cuts of the movie, along with a digital copy for portable video players. Extras include a making-of segment and a batch of behind-the-scenes featurettes on the character, costumes and story development.

'Fred Claus'

Santa's black-sheep brother (Vince Vaughn) is bailed out of his latest jam by his saintly sibling (Paul Giamatti) and forced to work off his debt at the North Pole, where he learns to re-evaluate his conniving ways as a heartless efficiency expert (Kevin Spacey) plots to put St. Nick out of a job. The holiday comedy from last year also stars Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates, Miranda Richardson and Elizabeth Banks. The DVD and Blu-ray releases come with deleted scenes and commentary from director David Dobkin. The Blu-ray disc also has a DVD game, featurettes and a music video by co-star Chris "Ludacris" Bridges.

'Space Chimps'

A simian slacker, the grandson of NASA's revered chimpanzee-in-space pioneer, becomes an unlikely hero when he and two other primate astronauts seek to salvage a critical mission after their spaceship crash lands on an unknown world. The animated family flick features a voice cast that includes Cheryl Hines, Stanley Tucci, Patrick Warburton and Andy Samberg. The movie comes to DVD and Blu-ray with scant extras, just a featurette about selecting the voice cast.

'Meet Dave'

Eddie Murphy's seesaw career swings back to bomb mode with this dud of a science-fiction comedy about tiny alien visitors who come to Earth inside a human-shaped vessel on a mission to save their own world. Murphy stars as both the alien captain calling the shots and as the spaceship itself. The DVD has only a gag reel and a featurette, while the Blu-ray release comes with an alternate ending, deleted scenes and a handful of behind-the-scenes segments.

'The Spy Who Came inFrom the Cold'

Martin Ritt's chilling 1965 adaptation of John le Carre's Cold War thriller gets a DVD makeover in a two-disc set with a restored version of the film. Richard Burton stars as a burned-out veteran British agent who strikes up a relationship with a communist sympathizer (Claire Bloom) and is approached by operatives from behind the Iron Curtain to defect. The film is accompanied by an interview with le Carre and a BBC documentary about his career, a 1967 interview with Burton, a 1985 chat with Ritt and an essay on the production.

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