Tracy Bennett, Columbia Pictures
Don Cheadle, left, plays Adam Sandler's former college roommate in the film "Reign Over Me."
Some goodies this week, and some disappointments, are among new DVD releases.

Recent movies

"Reign Over Me" (Columbia, 2007; rated R for language; $28.95). Every now and then, Adam Sandler feels the need to leave behind his penchant for vulgar comedies and do something more serious (see "Punch Drunk Love" or "Spanglish"). And this one is pretty good, as he plays a disenfranchised depressive who lost his family in 9/11.

Even better is Don Cheadle as Sandler's former college roomie who, after a chance reunion with him, sees the renewed relationship disrupt his life. Also good are Jada Pinkett Smith as Cheadle's wife and Liv Tyler as a psychiatrist.

Extras: Separate widescreen and full-frame editions, featurettes, photo gallery

"Evan Almighty" (Universal, 2007, PG, $29.98). Amusing idea about God (Morgan Freeman) calling a new senator (Steve Carell) to be a modern-day Noah is rather half-hearted, despite the obvious huge computer-animation budget. (A loose sequel to "Bruce Almighty.")

Extras: Separate widescreen and full-frame editions, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers, game

"28 Weeks Later" (Fox, 2007; R for violence, nudity, language, sex; $29.99). Gory sequel to "28 Days Later ... " as zombies attack humans and the shaky camera imitates art. Robert Carlyle fares much better in the TV movie about Hitler listed below.

Extras: Separate widescreen and full-frame editions, deleted scenes, animated segments, audio commentary, featurettes, trailers

Foreign films

"Man Push Cart" (Koch Lorber, 2007, $26.98). Interesting but uneven character study about a former Pakistani rock star who heads for America where he is reduced to selling coffee to morning commuters in Manhattan.

Extras: Widescreen, in English and in Urdu with English subtitles, short films "Bad Reception" and "Dogs," audio commentary, trailer

Reissues

"Poltergeist: 25th Anniversary" (Warner, 1982, PG, $19.97). Did Tobe Hooper ("The Texas Chainsaw Massacre") really direct this film, or was it producer Steven Spielberg? That's a question film buffs have argued over for decades, but there are no answers here. But if you don't have this one, it's a great choice for Halloween — scary, funny and a trend-setter for films that followed.

Extras: Widescreen, two-part documentary: "They Are Here: The Real World of Poltergeists Revealed"

"MGM Classic Musicals Collection" (MGM, 1955-71, G/not rated, $59.98). Most of these six are indeed classics, and if you don't care about the extras on other editions, this is the way to go. They range from the more serious, "West Side Story" (1961) and "Fiddler on the Roof" (1971), to the gently funny, "Guys and Dolls" (1955) and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" (1967), to the wildly slapstick, "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum" (1966), to the childishly silly, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (1968).

Extras: Widescreen

"American Movie Musicals, Vol. 2" (MGM, 1979-2004, PG/PG-13, $29.98). This box set repackages three less-than-stellar films, though all have their moments: "Hair" (1979), the hippie musical that seems dated now; "A Chorus Line" (1985), with Michael Douglas putting so-so singers and dancers through the paces; and "De-Lovely" (2004), with Kevin Kline great as Cole Porter and a lot of great songs, though nothing else jells.

Extras: Widescreen

TV movies

"Hitler: The Rise of Evil" (Koch, 2003, two discs, $29.98). This CBS two-part miniseries is a first rate, unflinching look at the rise of Adolf Hitler, and it's quite fascinating, with Robert Carlyle in the title role, and Stockard Channing, Jena Malone, Julianna Margulies, Matthew Modine, Liev Schreiber, Peter O'Toole in support.

Extras: Widescreen, featurettes

"THE BRONTE COLLECTION" (WGBH, 1998/2006, three discs, $39.95). PBS (BBC) versions of "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights."

Extras: Widescreen ("Jane Eyre"), full frame ("Wuthering Heights"), deleted scenes, audio commentaries and featurette (all on "Jane Eyre")

Straight to DVD

"Son of the Dragon" (Genius, 2007, $19.95)

"Shanghai Kiss" (Starz, 2007, $26.97)

"Homie Spumoni" (Warner, 2006; R for sex, language; Donald Faison, $24.98)

"Protecting the King" (Echo Bridge, 2007, $26.99

"Civic Duty" (Fox, 2006; R for violence, language; $27.98)

"Wrong Turn 2: Dead End: Unrated" (Fox, 2007, $26.98)

"Black Sheep" (Genius, 2006, $24.95)

"Hallowed Ground" (Genius, 2007, $19.95)

"Ultimate Force" (BCI, 2007, $19.98)


E-mail: [email protected]