"Hotel Rwanda" put a face on the horrors of the Rwandan genocide of 1994 by chronicling the mass slaughter of Tutsis by tribal Hutus through the heroism of Paul Rusesabagina, and the extras on the digital edition of Terry George's Oscar-nominated drama are gut-wrenching (MGM, $27).
A hotel manager at an upper-class establishment in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, Rusesabagina saved some 1,200 "guests" -- Tutsi refugees who found a sanctuary at the hotel. Don Cheadle received an Oscar nomination for his performance as Rusesabagina, as did Sophie Okonedo as his wife, Tatiana. George and Keir Pearson also picked up an Academy Award nomination for their screenplay.
The real Rusesabagina, who now lives with his family in England, is front and center in the DVD extras. It is his passion, quiet strength and fortitude that make the special features so moving.
In the "Return to Rwanda" documentary, he and his family go back to the country after nearly a decade in exile and visit the hotel and meet up with old friends. He also tours areas of the genocide, interviews two survivors of one of the most gruesome slaughters and visits a museum on one site that includes rooms with bones of the victims.
Rounding out the disc is a making-of documentary, commentary with George and Rusesabagina, and select scene commentary with Cheadle and composer-musician Wyclef Jean.
Also new this week
"Bad Education" (Sony, $27): Writer-director Pedro Almodovar's controversial drama about desire, revenge, murder and sexual abuse by a Catholic priest is being released on DVD in both its NC-17 theatrical version and an edited R-rated version. Gael Garcia Bernal and Fele Martinez star. The digital edition features some deleted scenes, footage from the premiere at the Cinerama Dome last year, a making-of documentary short, and compelling commentary from Almodovar in Spanish with English subtitles.
"The Woodsman" (Sony, $27): Kevin Bacon received some of the best notices of his career for his performance in this unsettling drama as a convicted pedophile who tries to resume his life after 12 years in prison. Bacon's real-life spouse Kyra Sedgwick plays his reel-life girlfriend. The digital edition features deleted scenes, an interview with producer Lee Daniels and serviceable commentary with co-writer and director Nicole Kassell, who made her feature debut with this low-budget indie.
"Suspect Zero" (Paramount, $30): E. Elias Merhige, director of the indie hit "Shadow of the Vampire," helmed this unusual thriller starring Ben Kingsley as a former FBI agent trained in a secret government program that allows him to telepathically get into a killer's mind, and Aaron Eckhart as a troubled FBI agent.
The digital edition includes a fun four-part featurette, "What We See When We Close Our Eyes," which examines actual government programs involving "remote viewing"; an alternate ending and commentary with the director.
"Ocean's Twelve" (Warner, $28): The disappointing sequel to "Ocean's Eleven" arrives on DVD with just the trailer.
"Criminal" (Warner, $28): Scrappy caper film starring John C. Reilly and Diego Luna.
"The Bob Newhart Show" (Fox, $30): Happily, this 1972-78 series holds up just fine thanks to the snappy writing and marvelous cast: Newhart, Suzanne Pleshette, Peter Bonerz, Bill Daily and Marcia Wallace. The only downside is there are no extras.
"Viva Maria!" (MGM, $15): Brigitte Bardot and Jeanne Moreau headline this so-so 1965 Louis Malle-directed French comedy as two entertainers who become revolutionaries. George Hamilton plays the handsome revolutionary with whom Moreau falls in love.
"Hawaii" (MGM, $15): Overlong but addictive 1966 adaptation of James Michener's bestseller about the history of Hawaii. Directed by George Roy Hill, this lavish drama stars Max Von Sydow, Julie Andrews, Richard Harris and Gene Hackman. Elmer Bernstein supplies the rousing score. Extras include the trailer and a slick promo film from 1966.
"Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N." (Disney, $20): Two years after starring opposite Julie Andrews in Disney's "Mary Poppins," Dick Van Dyke returned to the "Mouse House" for this wan 1966 spoof of "Robinson Crusoe." A chimp named Floyd steals the show.
April 19: "Meet the Fockers," "House of Flying Daggers," "Love Song for Bobby Long," "Birth," "Primer" and "Stephen King's Riding the Bullet."
April 26: "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Blade: Trinity," "The Assassination of Richard Nixon," "Undertow," "Darkness" and "Emile."
May 3: "National Treasure," "The Phantom of the Opera," "The Chorus" and "Enduring Love."
May 10: "In Good Company," "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou," "Racing Stripes," "Assault on Precinct 13," "The Merchant of Venice," "Hairshow" and "Alone in the Dark."
May 17: "Kinsey," "The Sea Inside," "Son of the Mask," "White Noise," "Tarnation," "Team America: World Police" and "Notre Musique."
May 24: "The Aviator," "Are We There Yet?," "A Very Long Engagement" and "Pooh's Heffalump Movie."
May 31: "Boogeyman" and "Swimming Upstream."
June 7: "Be Cool," "Beyond the Sea" and "The Machinist."
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The 10 top-selling DVDs in the week ending April 3. Rankings are compiled from a variety of major retailers, including Amazon.com, Best Buy, Blockbuster and Circuit City.
*--* 1. "The Incredibles" 2. "Closer" 3. "Finding Neverland" 4. "After the Sunset" 5. "Bambi: Special Edition" 6. "Fat Albert" 7. "Ladder 49" 8. "Apollo 13: 10th Anniversary Edition" 9. "Star Wars: Clone Wars Vol. 1" 10. "Napoleon Dynamite" *--*