As 2006 wraps up, many of the big films of the year are coming out on DVD, just in time for the holiday buying season. These are being released Tuesday:
Some may perceive Oliver Stone's “World Trade Center” as a film that honors those who rushed into a burning building to save people and got caught in a terrible predicament. Others may have a sour opinion about having the most devastating tragedy of our time re-created for movie audiences.
Yet “WTC” is not groundbreaking. It’s a straightforward melodrama about the American spirit told through the eyes of two policemen, Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena, who are trapped under the rubble of the fallen towers, struggling to survive. Does the movie tell the tale of the entire day? Not in the least, and that may be its biggest fault. Nothing is surmised about the context of the horrifying events. While “World Trade Center” isn't quite at the level of Hallmark Hall of Fame TV presentation, it’s not a crowning achievement that depicts American feelings about 9/11 and its history.
The DVD includes an alternate audio track commentary from Stone, interviews with the cast and a good handful of deleted scenes. Price: $29.98. Rent or buy: Rent, but bring the Kleenex
Thank God for Will Ferrell. Without him, the art of the stupid comedy would be left to tired college coming-of-age films. Ferrell dons his “Anchorman” Ron Burgundy-type mold again in “Talladega Nights,” which is knee-slapping funny. It’s so far over the stupid meter, you can’t help but laugh at the moronic activity. Ferrell plays Ricky Bobby, the No. 1 NASCAR champion who is challenged by gay French Formula One driver Jean Girrard, played by Borat himself, Sacha Baron Cohen. Filled sophomore antics that rival those in “Anchorman” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” the film is a laugh riot and a great gift for the holidays. The unrated DVD is packed with special features, including 13 crazy, racy moments not seen in theaters as well as other deleted scenes, alternate lines, bonus race footage, interviews with Ferrell as Ricky, audio commentaries and much more. Price: $28.95. Rent or buy: Buy.
Anne Hathaway has done an amazing job shedding her “Princess Diaries” image; she’s become a serious A-list actor in Hollywood. In “The Devil Wears Prada,” she proves she can work with the big boys (or girls). She stars as Andrea, a second assistant to a horrible editor-in-chief at a swank fashion magazine, played brilliantly by Meryl Streep. The film will strike a note for people who have had that one terrible boss they’d love to strangle. The decent comedy also sheds light on the ludicrous “rules” of fashion. The DVD has a lot: commentary from director David Frankel, four featurettes on fashion and New York City, a whopping 15 deleted scenes, and more. Price: $29.99. Rent or buy: A great rental.
» Other DVDs out this week: “Material Girls,” “Barnyard,” “My Geisha,” “Andy Griffith: The Complete Eighth Season,” “Gomer Pyle: The Complete First Season,” “Elemental Gelade — Volume Four,” “Masters of Horror: Fair Haired Child,” “Dog the Bounty Hunter: Wedding Special,” “Driving Force: The Complete First Season,” “Gene Simmons: Family Jewels — Season One” and “Dean Martin Double Feature.”