Here are some DVDs to hit store shelves.
"Redbelt" (Sony Classics, 2008; R for language, violence; $27.96). David Mamet tries a change of pace with this look at a martial-arts expert who is lured back into the competitive fighting game against his better judgment.
Routine in some ways but Mamet's unique spin makes the seemingly mundane of compelling interest. This one benefits from his dialogue and direction, but also some unique casting: Chiwetel Ejiofor, who is great in the lead role, Emily Mortimer as a mystery woman, and as a movie star who is really a hard-nosed thug, Tim Allen!
Extras: widescreen, audio commentary (with Mamet and actor Randy Couture), featurettes, trailers
"Son of Rambow" (Paramount Vantage, 2008, PG-13, $19.99). This funny, engaging British comedy isn't really for kids, although at first glance it appears to be. Sadly, it's a bit too vulgar and harsh for small fry, and it poses a dim view of organized religion.
Still, it's a witty tale of two mismatched young boys in the early 1980s who get together to make their own amateur-video version of Sylvester Stallone's initial Rambo movie, "First Blood." That is, until problems with family and friends get in the way.
"Tim Burton's the Nightmare Before Christmas: Collector's Edition" (Disney, 1993, PG, $32.99). Halloween maestro Jack Skellington kidnaps Santa Claus, takes his place at Christmas to bring his own brand of joy to the world, and it's a disaster. The songs are catchy, the dialogue is smart and funny and the stop-motion animation design is a knockout. I laugh out loud whenever I hear "Jingle Bells" performed as a dirge.
Hey, you either like it or you don't, but for many (myself included) this is a film that grows on you with additional viewings. And fans will love all the extras here, which include Burton's great short film "Vincent," voiced by Vincent Price. There's also a third disc to enable a digital version of the movie on your computer.
And if you're a fan with more disposable income than you know what to do with, there's the $179.99 "Ultimate Collector's Gift Set," which has a hand-painted bust of Skellington with a "Sandy Claws" hat and beard, and a sound chip that plays lines from the movie.Extras: widescreen, deleted scenes, audio commentary (by Burton, Selick and Elfman), featurettes, two early short films by Burton: "Frankenweenie" and "Vincent," Christopher Lee reading Burton's original poem, storyboards, art galleries, trailers (Also on Blu-ray with an exclusive introduction by Burton, $39.99.)
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