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ALSO THIS WEEK / NEW RELEASES

Because no one is an island

August 03, 2008|Noel Murray

Nim's Island

Fox Walden, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.98

A sort of "Romancing the Stone" for the preteen set, "Nim's Island" stars Abigail Breslin as an adventurous youngster being raised by her scientist father at a remote ocean outpost. When the old man gets lost at sea, his daughter calls for help from her favorite pulp fiction author: a helpless agoraphobic played by Jodie Foster. The DVD adds deleted scenes and commentary tracks, including one in which Foster and Breslin talk about their favorite animals.

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Code Monkeys: Season One

Shout! Factory, $19.99

If "South Park" lowered the bar for TV animation, G4's cult cartoon series "Code Monkeys" throws away that bar completely. Designed to look like a low-resolution early '80s Atari video game -- complete with jokey graphics about the characters' health and point totals -- "Code Monkeys" follows the slacker employees of an upstart video-game company as they get high, goof off and engage in slapstick violence. The "Code Monkeys: Season One" DVD contains the show's first 13 episodes, plus behind-the-scenes featurettes that are a lot like the show itself: sloppy, snarky and fitfully funny.

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The Counterfeiters

Sony, $28.96; Blu-ray, $38.96

Last year's Academy Award winner for foreign-language feature dramatizes the true story of a concentration camp prisoner who aided the Nazis in a scheme to destabilize the British economy with a flood of phony currency. Part suspense film, part meditation on what it means to be "genuine," "The Counterfeiters" avoids Holocaust movie cliches in focusing on a man who probably belonged behind bars -- just not for the reasons the Germans put him there. Director Stefan Ruzowitzky provides a commentary track for the DVD, which also features interviews with the cast and the man on whom the story is based.

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Pete Seeger: The Power of Song

Genius Products, $24.95

American folk music icon Pete Seeger has a reputation as a political firebrand and a musical purist, and though Jim Brown's documentary "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song" doesn't do much to dispel that image, the film does try to explain it. Tracing Seeger's journey from a privileged boyhood to an ascetic adulthood, Brown shows the close ties between the trad/hootenanny movement and the radical politics of the '40s, '50s and '60s -- as well as illustrating how Seeger treated his music more as a mission than a pleasure. The DVD includes bonus scenes and home movies.

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And . . .

"The Killing of John Lennon" (IFC, $19.95); "Lonesome Dove" (Genius Products $19.95; Blue-ray, $39.99); "My Brother Is an Only Child" (Velocity/ThinkFilm, $27.98)

-- Noel Murray

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