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Extras as compelling as ‘Antwone’ story

Antwone Fisher

Derek Luke, Denzel Washington

Fox, $28

The two-time Oscar-winning actor Washington makes an impressive directorial debut with this intimate, inspiring story of a young African American man who grew up in an abusive foster home -- his father was murdered before he was born and his mother, who gave birth to him while she was in prison, never came to claim him after she was released. He joins the Navy to better himself, and when his inner-rage explodes while in the service, he’s sent to an understanding psychiatrist. The real Fisher was a security guard at Sony Pictures when he wrote the script. The drama features fine performances from Luke as Fisher and Washington as the shrink.

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The DVD includes an interview with the soft-spoken Fisher, a behind-the-scenes featurette, a mini-doc on how the Navy cooperated with the production and passionate commentary from Washington and producer Todd Black. The disc would have been more enriching if Fisher had also done a track.

*

Star Trek Nemesis

Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner

Paramount, $30

Though this fourth film based on the long-running syndicated TV series, “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” tanked at the box office last Christmas, it’s better than the first and third entries in the series. In this adventure, Picard encounters a villainous younger clone of himself (Tom Hardy) and Data also meets a child-like duplicate of himself called B-4. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Troi (Marina Sirtis) even tie the knot.

The DVDs of “Star Trek” movies usually are a blast, and “Nemesis” is no exception. Included are mini-documentaries focusing on director Stuart Baird (who says he’d never seen a “Star Trek” movie until he was hired), the action sequences and the look of the film, several deleted scenes including a decent alternate ending and enjoyable commentary from Baird.

*

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25th Hour

Edward Norton,

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Touchstone, $30

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Critics were divided over Spike Lee’s latest film, a well-acted but overly mannered and belabored drama about the final 24 hours of freedom of a New York City drug dealer (Norton) before he reports for a seven-year prison term. Rosario Dawson plays his girlfriend; Hoffman and Barry Pepper are his lifelong friends and the always-dependable Brian Cox co-stars as his father. Thrown into the mix are several references to the Sept. 11 tragedy that don’t really belong. A real highpoint of “25th Hour” is composer Terence Blanchard’s haunting score.

Despite the film’s flaws, the digital edition of “25th Hour” is quite good. It features deleted scenes, a tribute to “ground zero” and a documentary on Lee, “The Evolution of an American Filmmaker.” Lee is an exceptionally articulate guide through his filmmaking process in his audio commentary, as is writer David Benioff.

*

Dances With Wolves

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Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell

MGM, $30

This “special edition” of the 1990 Oscar winner for best picture features nearly an hour of extra footage. The Western romance now clocks in at nearly four hours. The extra scenes include the suicide of the crazed officer who sends soldier Costner out to an isolated outpost in Indian country and footage that explains why soldiers abandoned the fort before his arrival.

The two-disc DVD features a documentary which includes candid and often funny interviews with Costner, who also won the Oscar for his direction, co-stars McDonnell and Graham Greene, producer Jim Wilson and writer Michael Blake.

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Also this week

“Max” stars John Cusack as an art dealer in a glib introspective into the early life of Adolf Hitler, with Noah Taylor as Hitler, the artist wannabe before he became a dictator (Lions Gate: $24.99).

Top VHS rentals

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1. Catch Me If You Can

2. Two Weeks Notice

3. Darkness Falls

4. Maid in Manhattan

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5. Drumline

Top DVD rentals

1. Catch Me If You Can

2. Two Weeks Notice

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3. Darkness Falls

4. The Transporter

5. Drumline

What’s coming

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Tuesday: “The Pianist,” “The Recruit,” “Talk to Her,” “National Security,” “Love Liza,” “A Guy Thing” and “American Adobo”

-- Susan King


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