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Stylish ad 'Men,' disciplined 'Mishima'

June 29, 2008|Noel Murray

Mad Men: Season One

American Movie Classics/Lionsgate, $49.98; Blu-ray, $49.99

Just in time for the second season of “Mad Men,” the first season arrives on DVD, replete with natty clothes, clouds of smoke and a hard look at what it took to be a successful American in 1960. Episodes such as "5G," "The Hobo Code" and "Nixon vs. Kennedy" are so masterful in their depiction of boardroom politics, secret histories and the culture of advertising that their titles alone are enough to send chills down fans' spines.

The DVD set comes cleverly packaged in a case that resembles a Zippo lighter and is stuffed with behind-the-scenes documentaries and commentaries by the AMC series' cast and crew.

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters/Patriotism

Criterion, $39.95/$24.95

Director-critic Paul Schrader distilled his ideas about religious discipline and rigorous cinema into his unconventional 1985 biopic "Mishima," blending fact and fiction to scrutinize the life and values of prolific Japanese writer Yukio Mishima. Utilizing an array of styles (from stark black-and-white to rich color), Schrader considers how belief, family ties and a dandyish appreciation for beauty help mold an artist.

Criterion's two-disc edition includes hours of interviews and reflections; Criterion also is releasing Mishima's lone directorial effort, "Patriotism," a 30-minute meditation on national honor.

Tyler Perry's

Meet the Browns

Lionsgate, $29.95/$34.98; Blu-ray, $39.99

Perry's culture-clash melodrama stars Angela Bassett as an unemployed single mom who reconnects with her boisterous extended family while stalking that mythical creature: the Good Man. Perry's signature character -- the truth-telling Madea -- makes a brief appearance. The DVD sports four featurettes (seven on Blu-ray).

Vantage Point

Sony, $28.96/$34.95; Blu-ray, $38.96

"Rashomon" meets "24" in this action-thriller, which recounts the events surrounding an attempted presidential assassination from multiple perspectives, adding a little more each round -- a gimmick better in concept than execution. The DVD includes a commentary by director Pete Travis and a handful of featurettes.

And...

"City of Men" (Miramax, $29.99); "Drillbit Taylor" (DreamWorks, $34.99; Blu-ray, $39.99); "Girl on the Bridge" (Legend, $14.95); "Triloquist" (Weinstein Company, $19.98)

-- Noel Murray

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