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Chris Hicks: Good pic, misfire hit DVD shelves

SHARE Chris Hicks: Good pic, misfire hit DVD shelves

Two major DVD releases have just hit video shelves — a reissue of a very good 2002 action picture, and a 2004 misfire. Along with a mix of old and new titles.

"The Bourne Identity: Extended Edition" (Universal, 2002, PG-13, $29.98). Selling points for this reissue are an overview of Robert Ludlum's "Bourne" novels, and opening/closing scenes filmed after 9/11, then discarded before the film's release.

But all that is merely frosting. The real selling point is the movie itself, a crackerjack action film, with Matt Damon as an excellent, if unlikely, hero. He's a government assassin on the lam with amnesia who gets help from a tentative civilian (Franka Potente).

As if you didn't know, a sequel, "The Bourne Supremacy," opens this week.

Extras: Separate full frame and widescreen editions, new beginning and ending, deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, interviews, trailers, free movie ticket to "The Bourne Supremacy," language and subtitle options (English, French, Spanish), chapters.

"Against the Ropes" (Paramount, 2004, PG-13, $29.95). Meg Ryan stars in this alleged true story of the first woman to become a professional boxing manager. But first she must transform a street tough (Omar Epps) into a fighter.

Tony Shalhoub ("Monk") is a marvelous actor, but he's at sea here as the bad guy. Likewise Charles Dutton, as a retired manager who helps Ryan . . . and he directed the film! Surprisingly, Ryan and Epps work well together, and too-few humorous moments help a bit.

Actually, this might have been better as a flat-out farce.

Extras: Separate full-frame and widescreen editions, making-of featurettes, trailer, language options (English, French), English subtitle option, chapters.

"The Rosemary Clooney Show: Girl Singer" (Concord, 1957-58, not rated, b/w and color, $19.98). This entertaining PBS show features clips of Rosemary Clooney singing songs on her '50s black-and-white TV variety series, as well as biographical material. Carol Burnett narrates, while photos and testimonials from family members (her five children, including character actor Miguel Ferrer, along with her brother Nick Clooney and nephew George Clooney) and others tell the story. (Can be ordered online at www.concordrecords.com.)

Extras: Full frame, audio commentary (song-specific, by Michael Feinstein), extra song performance, extra interviews (organized by discussion subject), tribute by Jimmy Webb (with photo gallery), record-album gallery, chapters.

"Project Greenlight: The Complete Second Season" (Miramax, 2003, PG-13, $39.99, three discs). This is the second season of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's reality series, which chooses a script from a slew of wannabe filmmakers, then follows the making of the movie as an independent production. This time it's last year's "The Battle of Shaker Heights," a so-so coming-of-age comic melodrama, with Shia LaBeouf ("Holes"), Amy Smart and Kathleen Quinlan.

As with the first season, this show is aimed primarily at film buffs — and it is fascinating to see the filmmaking process in action, along with a lot of behind-the-scenes battles. The finished film, which has already had its DVD debut, is also included here.

Extras: Widescreen/full frame, 13 episodes, audio commentary (on feature with the directors), deleted scenes, bloopers, bios, subtitle options (English, Spanish), chapters.

"Justice League: Starcrossed the Movie" (Warner, 2003, not rated, $19.97). The Justice League — which includes Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, the Flash, etc. — is called upon when a villainous armada descends on the Earth. And Hawkgirl finds her loyalties challenged in this animated feature, composed of a three-part episode from the Cartoon Network TV series.

Extras: Full frame or widescreen options, deleted scenes, featurettes, trailers, subtitle options (English, French, Spanish), chapters.


E-mail: hicks@desnews.com