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ALSO THIS WEEK / NEW RELEASES

A second chance to catch Richard Gere

January 20, 2008|Gina McIntyre

'The Hunting Party'

Genius, $28.95

Richard Gere earned critical kudos last year for his work in two films little seen outside of advance screening rooms: "The Hoax" and "The Hunting Party." The latter, which comes to DVD Tuesday, sees Gere's down-on-his-luck journalist stumble onto the trail of a Bosnian war criminal with longtime pal Terrence Howard and young Jesse Eisenberg in tow; incredibly the trio is mistaken for a CIA hit squad. Even more incredibly, the film is based on the real-life experiences of Esquire magazine's Scott Anderson, who, along with fellow journalist John Falk, relates the story first-hand in a conversation with the film's writer-director Richard Shepard in one of the DVD's several special features. The film's not for everyone, but fans of Shepard's Pierce Brosnan-starrer "The Matador" might want to take note. Also contains the standard commentaries, deleted scenes and making-of featurette.

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'The Game Plan'

Disney, $29.99, Blu-ray, $34.99

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson proved he can sell tickets to more than summer tentpole action movies with the rather predictable but family friendly comedy "The Game Plan," in which he plays the long-absent father to a spunky 7-year-old who unexpectedly turns up in his life one day. Youngsters don't come much more precocious than Madison Pettis, who drags her football player father to the requisite girlie activity -- ballet class (Pettis even managed to shoot some footage of her own for the extras). Arguably, though, the more entertaining features involve Johnson, in character, in a fictionalized ESPN doc on his quarterback Joe Kingman, or possibly the bloopers with sportscaster Marv Albert.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, January 24, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 27 words Type of Material: Correction
'Becoming Jane': The Also This Week DVD column in Sunday's Calendar section said that "Becoming Jane" would be released Jan. 22. It will come out Feb. 12.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, January 27, 2008 Home Edition Sunday Calendar Part E Page 2 Calendar Desk 1 inches; 24 words Type of Material: Correction
"Becoming Jane": Last Sunday's Also This Week DVD column said that "Becoming Jane" would be released Jan. 22. It will come out Feb. 12.

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'Becoming Jane'

Disney, $29.99

Miramax's new mogul Daniel Battsek -- who took over the company after founder Harvey Weinstein's departure -- has enjoyed something of a charmed tenure during his time in the executive suite with Oscar winners like "The Queen" and the French-language art house darling "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly." "Becoming Jane" was one of the company's less successful releases. Director Julian Jarrold's drama about young Jane Austen's (Anne Hathaway) love affair with an Irishman (James McAvoy) didn't quite capture the same spark as films adapted from Austen's actual novels, however lovely Hathaway might be in her period finery. The extras are a little on the slim side as well, though a mini doc does explore the writer's powerful legacy.

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'Saw IV'

Lionsgate, $29.95, Blu-ray $39.99

Not even death itself can keep devious mastermind Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) from his elaborate contraptions in "Saw IV," the latest entry in the uber-profitable horror franchise. Chances are, fans clamoring for this one already shelled out their $11 to see the movie on the big screen last Halloween, but the DVD does contain featurettes devoted to the various traps and props that Jigsaw uses to dispense his singular brand of moralizing. Thanks to these insightful tips, kids, you too can build that handy dandy scalping machine you've always wanted. Mr. Wizard would be so proud.

-- Gina McIntyre

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