Selected home-video releases available this week:
'Shrek the Third'
The big green guy with the Scottish accent returns for another animated blockbuster. Voice stars Mike Myers as Shrek, Eddie Murphy as sidekick Donkey, Cameron Diaz as ogre bride Fiona and Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots are joined by Justin Timberlake, who provides vocals for teen cousin Artie, whom Shrek must groom to rule the realm as the future King Arthur. The DVD and HD DVD release include scenes the filmmakers dropped, a featurette with cast and crew interviews, a segment on the advances in computer animation that went into the new movie and a collection of computer gaffes where the animation went haywire. The disc also has an interactive yearbook with snippets on Artie's school classmates, a handful of games and an editing feature allowing viewers to mix and match scenes from all three 'Shrek' flicks. The HD DVD high-definition disc also allows fans to watch the movie with a picture-in-picture storybook reel. DVD, $29.99; HD DVD, $39.99. (DreamWorks)
George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and their light-fingered pals are back for a third heist romp. This time, the crew returns to Vegas, staging an elaborate ripoff in revenge against the casino owner (Al Pacino) who double-crossed one of the Ocean's gang's inner circle (Elliott Gould). The movie comes in standard DVD format, as a Blu-ray high-definition disc or in a combination disc with both the standard DVD and HD DVD versions. All three formats have deleted scenes, a documentary segment on the lavishness of Vegas and a featurette in which producer Jerry Weintraub leads a casino tour. The HD DVD and Blu-ray releases also have a segment on the art of the heist in the 'Ocean's' movies. DVD, $28.98; Blu-ray disc, $35.99; HD DVD combo disc, $39.99. (Warner Bros.)
Ioan Gruffudd, the infinitely flexible Mr. Fantastic of the 'Fantastic Four' flicks, stretches his dramatic muscles for this period drama from director Michael Apted. Gruffudd stars as 18th century British politician William Wilberforce, who leads the movement to abolish the nation's slave trade. The film is accompanied by a behind-the-scenes segment, a featurette on the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and Chris Tomlin's music video of the title song. Gruffudd and Apted collaborate for commentary. DVD, $29.98. (20th Century Fox)
'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'
Steven Spielberg's sci-fi epic celebrates its birthday with an elaborate 30th anniversary edition for the movie starring Richard Dreyfuss as an average guy who becomes one of a group of people fated to journey to the stars as aliens come to Earth to say hi to humanity. The new release packs the original 1977 theatrical cut, the re-edited special edition version released in 1980, and a final director's cut that came out in 1998. The set includes a new interview with Spielberg, along with a 1977 featurette and a making-of segment. The 30th anniversary edition comes in a three-disc standard DVD set, while the Blu-ray release has all three versions on a single disc, with extras contained on a second disc. DVD set, $39.95; Blu-ray set, $49.95. (Sony)
'The Princess Bride'
Years before Shrek started turning fairy tales on their head, Rob Reiner's love story in the land of make-believe was messing with storybook conventions. A 20th anniversary edition gives a DVD makeover to the romantic fantasy that stars Cary Elwes as a peasant boy turned dashing hero, Robin Wright as the imperiled maiden he loves, and Mandy Patinkin as a swordplay master on a mission of vengeance against the man who killed his father. The DVD comes with newly produced extras that include segments on fencing and folklore. There's also a video role-playing game that allows viewers to take on the identity of the movie's characters. DVD, $19.98. (MGM)
- The Associated Press