Digital Breakdown: Welcome to the 'Grindhouse'

With more than 30 minutes added to the film, Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof” on DVD is considerably better than the theatrical release, which was half of the double bill that made up “Grindhouse.” On DVD, the action, tension and overall cinematic feel of the film breathe more than they do in the cramped double-feature version. (The companion film in the theater was Robert Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror.”)

“Death Proof,” about a stuntman serial killer stalking young girls, is released on DVD in an unrated cut — the same cut shown in Europe — that adds back a “missing reel” about a lap dance as well as a black-and-white intro segment about Kurt Russell’s Stuntman Mike character.

The concept of “Grindhouse” was intriguing. Yet its execution was its downfall, because the two featured movies were differentgenres, making it hard for audiences to sit at the theater for four hours. “Death Proof” works much better on DVD. Audiences get the film as it should be, in a director’s cut form. The set also has three featurettes about making and casting the film.

 Price: $29.95

Rent or buy: Rent


This cult classic about a baby alligator that gets flushed down the toilet, only to grow up in the sewers of Chicago, has made its way to DVD.

With a new crisp, digital transfer, an interview with scriptwriter John Sayles and an alternate audio track commentary from director Lewis Teague and actor Robert Forster, this campy favorite has never looked better.

Price: $14.98

Rent or buy: Buy


What a feeling! Get those leg warmers and off-the-shoulder sweatshirts ready. The 1980s classic is back with a new digital widescreen transfer cut from the original source material that will have you reaching for the water bucket. The film and five featurettes about the movie’s history and cultural impact are on one disc.

Price: $19.99

Rent or buy: Rent


The BBC’s retelling of the classic tale comes to DVD with James Nesbitt as Dr. Jackman, a man with a terrifying secret. It also features Michelle Ryan from the upcoming “Bionic Woman” series on NBC as well as great production values. The five-hour miniseries has some making-of featurettes and an alternate audio track commentary; it’s the perfect weekend rental.

Price: $29.98

Rent or buy: Rent


 Yes, the DVD explosion of returning shows continues, with four more series coming out DVD. Looks like that indent in the couch is going to get even bigger — even more are coming next week. All of the following are worth buying if you’re a fan.

“Smallville — The Complete Sixth Season”: This season, the story of Superman’s younger years has been filled with more deception and passion than ever before. Lana and Lex make a most interesting couple, yet the appearance of members of the Justice League is what makes this season truly memorable. Five featurettes and deleted scenes round out the six-disc set.

Price: $59.98 to $79.98

“Ghost Whisperer — The Complete Second Season”: The lovely (and haunted) Jennifer Love Hewitt is coming back to TV for a third season. Check out this family-friendly show’s second season in its entirety in this set, which includes Internet-only Webisodes, audio commentaries, tarot card readings and plenty of information about Hewitt.

Price: $68.99

“Boston Legal: Season Three”:  This unusual dramedy is certainly not your father’s law practice, with its zany to downright baffling cases that have James Spader and William Shatner scrambling each week. The seven-disc DVD set includes 24 episodes and two featurettes.

Price: $59.98

“Family Guy: Volume Five”: The ruthless, shameless animated series comes back again in the fall. Yet the travesty here is that Fox Home Entertainment has split the season into two volumes on DVD. This new release includes only half of the fifth season — not a good way to endear folks who like the show. With lousy extras and only 13 episodes, only diehard fans need apply.

Price: $39.98

Other DVDs out Tuesday: “The Condemned,” “Lucky You,” “Two Weeks,” “Cruising” “Commando Director’s Cut,” “Married with Children: The Complete Seventh Season,” “Troy Director’s Cut,” “Closure,” “The Valet,” “Masters of Horror: The Washingtonians,” “Masters of Horror: Sounds Like,” “Final Draft,” “Saturday Night Fever: Collector’s Edition” and “The Roger Corman Collection.”

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