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Batman, Eastwood lead parade of new Blu-ray releases

Doug Nye
McClatchy-Tribune News Service (MCT)

"Holy technology, Batman! We're on Blu-ray!"

You have to figure that's what Robin would shout if he found out that "Batman: The Movie" (20th Century Fox, 1966, $39.99) will be available Tuesday in that sterling DVD high-definition format.

Rushed into production to cash in on the then-popular campy "Batman" TV show, the feature film stars Adam West as the Caped Crusader and Burt Ward as the Boy Wonder. Just as they did in the series, West and Ward play it all strictly tongue-in-cheek.

Fox assembled a heavy lineup of villains to combat the dynamic duo. The Penguin (Burgess Meredith), The Riddler (Frank Gorshin), The Joker (Cesar Romero) and The Cat Woman (Lee Meriwether) join forces to kidnap United Nations representatives and hold them for ransom.

What we get is 105 minutes of silly fun and a sparkling print packed with plenty of extras, including a commentary track by West and Ward.

Other Blu-ray titles to be released Tuesday include:

"In The Line of Fire" (Sony, 1993, $28.95): Clint Eastwood plays an aging Secret Service agent who is haunted that he couldn't save President Kennedy from being assassinated. He gets a chance at redemption when bad guy John Malkovich sets out to assassinate the current president. Also in the cast is Rene Russo. Among the extras are the documentary "The Ultimate Sacrifice," 3 behind-the-scenes featurettes and deleted scenes.

"Vantage Point" (Sony, 2008, $38.96): Eight strangers who witnessed the assassination of the president of the United States tell their accounts of what they saw. Dennis Quaid, Forrest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, Matthew Fox and William Hurt headline the cast.

"Point Break" (20th Century Fox, 1991, $39.98): Keanu Reeves plays an undercover FBI agent who is on the trail of bank robbers he suspects are surfers. Patrick Swayze and Gary Busey also star in this action-packed flick.

"Gangs of New York" (Walt Disney, 2002, $34.95): Martin Scorsese directed this vivid, grimy look at the blood-soaked battles between various mobs that unfolded in Five Points on the Lower East Side of Manhattan from the 1840s to the Civil War period. Daniel Day-Lewis is outstanding as Bill the Butcher. Also starring are Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz.

"Meet the Browns" (Lionsgate, 2008, $39.98): Angela Bassett plays a single mother living in near-poverty conditions in Chicago. Then she receives three bus tickets and word that her father has died in Georgia. She heads to the Peach State, where she discovers things are quite different than they are in the Windy City. Former NBA player Rick Fox co-stars.

"Mad Men: Season One" (Lionsgate, 2007, $49.98): Jon Hamm stars as a successful fast-talking ad man who doesn't do too badly with the ladies, either. This American Movie Classics TV series is set in 1960s New York. Collection includes all 13 episodes.

Recent Blu-ray releases include:

"The Spiderwick Chronicles" (Paramount, 2008, $39.98): This family film from Nickeleodeon follows the Grace family as they move from New York to the Spiderwick estate, located in a shadowy, rural countryside. One of the kids discovers a secret room and eventually finds an opening to a supernatural world. Mary-Louise Parker and Freddie Highmore head the cast. Based on the series of books by DiTerrlizzi.

"10,000 B.C." (Warner Home Video, 2008, $35.98): Steven Strait and Camilla Belle star in this tale of romance, warring tribes and mammoth hunters in prehistoric times.

All prices listed are the suggested retail price and can be purchased cheaper for those who shop around or go to www.amazon.com.

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