This week's DVD releases

Bruce Dancis
McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

"Evan Almighty"

Universal Studios Home Entertainment, $29.98, rated PG

Whoa, Noah. Steve Carell, the Emmy-winning star of NBC's "The Office," plays a congressman who gets an unexpected visit from God (Morgan Freeman, reprising his role from "Bruce Almighty") and an unusual request to build an ark and fill it with animals. Lauren Graham, John Goodman and Wanda Sykes are along for the laughs. Highlights of the DVD's bonus features are deleted scenes and outtakes; "Steve Carell Unscripted," in which the star delivers an improvised stand-up routine on Capitol Hill; "Becoming Noah," a look at the makeup that transformed Carell from Evan Baxter to Noah; "The Building of Noah's Ark"; and an interactive Ark Animals Game.

"28 Weeks Later"

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, $29.98, rated R

They're back ... they being the deadly virus that was supposedly eradicated at the end of "28 Days Later" and the zombies who are affected by said virus. Original director Danny Boyle serves as executive producer of this sequel, set six months after the original movie ended; the directorial chores have been turned over to Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. DVD features include a commentary by Fresnadillo and co-writer Enrique Lopez Lavigne; short features on the making of the movie, its makeup and special effects; plus deleted scenes and the flash-animated graphic novel "28 Days Later: The Aftermath." Fox is also releasing a two-pack edition with both films for $34.98.

"Reign Over Me"

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $28.95, rated R

Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler star as former college roommates who rekindle their friendship after an unexpected meeting. Cheadle's Alan Johnson is a successful dentist with a beautiful wife (Jada Pinkett Smith) and loving family, while Sandler's Charlie Fineman is lost after having his own life torn apart when his family dies on 9-11. Bonus features include a "Behind the Reign" documentary, a jam session with Sandler and Cheadle and a photo montage titled "A Still Reign."

"Surf's Up"

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $28.95, rated PG

Enter the world of competitive surfing, penguin-style. Well, it could happen in the land of animation. Shia LaBeouf provides the voice of Cody Maverick, an aspiring surfer who leaves his family and hometown of Shiverpool, Antarctica, to take part in a surfing competition near Hawaii. The DVD includes the original Academy Award-winning short "The ChubbChubbs" plus the new "The ChubbChubbs Save Xmas," a three-part documentary ("Not a Drop of Water") on the making of the film, a music video by Lauryn Hill ("Love Myself") and three games ("Create Your Own Surfboard," "Lava Surf" and "Whale Hopping").

"Meercat Manor: Season One"

Two discs, Genius Products/Animal Planet, $24.95, not rated

The top-rated show on the Animal Planet channel, "Meercat Manor" is a docudrama series about the social relations among a group -- or "mob" -- of South African meerkats in the Kalahari Desert. The 13 episodes from the first season included here look at how adult meerkats (members of the mongoose family) educate their young as well as showing fights with rival groups, snake attacks, births and deaths -- all based on 24-hour photography from both above and below the ground. The DVD includes "Meerkat Manor Top Ten," a selection of the 10 best moments from Season One and a promo for Season Two.

"Michael Palin: Pole to Pole"

Three discs, BBC Video, $49.98, not rated

Available on DVD for the first time, Michael Palin's second documentary travel series, from 1992 (after 1989's "Around the World in 80 Days"), follows the former Monty Python star as he attempts to journey from the Arctic to the Antarctic. The five-month, 23,000-mile trip took him through Norway, Finland, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and ... there's a surprise in the final episode. Palin encounters a series of physical and political difficulties along the way, handling them all with his customary wit and grace, plus a few cracked ribs. The DVD includes an interview with Palin about the experience.



Black Sheep (not rated)

CSI: NY – Season Three (not rated)

Cutting Class (not rated)

Family Ties: The Second Season (not rated)

The Film Crew: The Giant of Marathon (not rated)

Friends of God: A Road Trip With Alexandra Pelosi (not rated)

Hannah Montana: Life's What You Make It (rated TV-G)

Hitler: The Rise of Evil (not rated)

Holla (rated R)

Mala Noche (not rated)

Man Push Cart (not rated)

The Panama Deception (not rated)

The Treatment (not rated)

You Kill Me (rated R)





How the Template for Modern Combat Journalism Developed

The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.


From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?


The 50 Best Songs of 2007

Journey back 13 years to a stellar year for Rihanna, M.I.A., Arcade Fire, and Kanye West. From hip-hop to indie rock and everywhere in between, PopMatters picks the best 50 songs of 2007.


'Modern' Is the Pinnacle of Post-Comeback Buzzcocks' Records

Presented as part of the new Buzzcocks' box-set, Sell You Everything, Modern showed a band that wasn't interested in just repeating itself or playing to nostalgia.


​Nearly 50 and Nearly Unplugged: 'ChangesNowBowie' Is a Glimpse Into a Brilliant Mind

Nine tracks, recorded by the BBC in 1996 show David Bowie in a relaxed and playful mood. ChangesNowBowie is a glimpse into a brilliant mind.


Reaching for the Sky: An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Bruce Sudano

How did Bruce Sudano become a superhero? PopMatters has the answer as Sudano celebrates the release of Spirals and reflects on his career from Brooklyn Dreams to Broadway.


Inventions Conjure Mystery and Hope with the Intensely Creative 'Continuous Portrait'

Instrumental duo Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) release their first album in five years as Inventions. Continuous Portrait is both sonically thrilling and oddly soothing.


Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch Are 'Live at the Village Vanguard' to Raise Money for Musicians

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch release a live recording from a 2018 show to raise money for a good cause: other jazz musicians.


Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' Hides Its True Intentions Behind Dancefloor Exuberance

Lady Gaga's Chromatica is the most lively and consistent record she's made since Born This Way, embracing everything great about her dance-pop early days and giving it a fresh twist.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.


Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.


Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.

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