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‘Charlie Wilson’s War,’ ‘Cloverfield’ new on DVD

By Bruce Dancis
Sacramento Bee
“Charlie Wilson’s War”
Year of release: 2007
Rated: R
Released by: Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
Price: $29.98
A heavyweight cast (Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams) and crew (director Mike Nichols, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin) propel this often-funny “based on a true story” film about a playboy Texas congressman (Hanks), a wealthy Texas anti-communist (Roberts) and a CIA agent (Hoffman) who brought aid and arms to Afghan rebels resisting the Soviet occupation of their country in the 1980s.
The DVD includes two bonus features ó “The Making of ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ ” and “Who Is Charlie Wilson?,” a profile of the man behind the movie character.
“Cloverfield”
Year of release: 2008
Rated: PG-13
Released by: Paramount Home Entertainment.
Price: $29.99
Fitting into the subgenre of movies about New York City, specifically Manhattan, being destroyed by monsters, tidal waves, aliens and viruses (see “King Kong,” the 1998 “Godzilla,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “Deep Impact” and “I Am Legend,” for starters), this Matt Reeves-directed, J.J. Abrams-produced movie tells its tale in the form of a first-person video account of the carnage and its effect on six people.
Bonus features include deleted scenes and alternate endings, a commentary by Reeves, documentaries on “The Making of ‘Cloverfield’ ” and ” ‘Cloverfield’ Visual Effects,” plus “I Saw It! It’s Alive! It’s Huge!” and “Clover Fun.”
“The Savages”
Year of release: 2007
Rated: R
Released by: Fox Home Entertainment.
Price: $27.98
Written and directed by Tamara Jenkins and powered by the performances of Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman, this is about two estranged siblings who have to come together to deal with their disagreeable father when he begins suffering from dementia.
Special features includes two extended scenes, “Director’s Snapshots” and a short documentary, “About the Savages.”
“The Orphanage”
Year of release: 2007
Rated: R
Released by: New Line Home Entertainment.
Price: $27.95
Spanish director J.A. Bayona and Mexican producer Guillermo del Toro team up for this ghost story set in a seaside orphanage in Spain.
The DVD includes “Rehearsal Studio,” showing Bayona at work with his cast; two short features (“When Laura Grew Up: Constructing ‘The Orphanage’ ” and “Horror in the Unknown: Make-Up”); short video segments about the filmmakers and a photo gallery.
“One Missed Call”
Year of release: 2008
Rated: PG-13
Released by: Warner Home Video.
Price: $28.98
A remake of the 2003 Japanese horror thriller “Chakushin Ari,” it’s about college students receiving voice-mail messages from the future containing their own last words. Ed Burns plays the police detective trying to figure out what’s going on. There are no extra features on the DVD.
“Starting Out in the Evening”
Year of release: 2007
Rated: PG-13
Released by: Lionsgate.
Price: $27.98
Frank Langella stars as an aging New York novelist, once famous but growing more obscure, who meets a graduate student (Lauren Ambrose of “Six Feet Under”) writing her thesis about him. The DVD includes an audio commentary by director Andrew Wagner.

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