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They got their point across

May 11, 2008|Noel Murray

The Great Debaters

Genius Products, $29.95/$32.95

For his second stint in the director's chair, Denzel Washington casts himself in the story of a real-life college professor who, in the 1930s, coached his school's debate team to a national championship, overcoming the oppression of Jim Crow. The single-disc DVD includes a short documentary about the surviving members of the original debate team, but the superior double-disc edition adds a more wide-ranging set of pieces about the movie's soundtrack and its cast of promising unknowns.

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All You Need Is Love

Zeit Media, $99.95

In 1976, British television began airing a 15-hour docu-miniseries about the history of 20th century popular music. Tony Palmer's "All You Need Is Love" was hailed in its day and looks even better now, thanks to Palmer's blend of stock footage, electrifying performances and thoughtful narration.

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Mad Money

Anchor Bay, $29.97

Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes play Federal Reserve employees who steal a cache of money on its way to the shredder, then try to enjoy their booty. Director (and "Thelma & Louise" scribe) Callie Khouri didn't write "Mad Money's" script; it could use more of her insight.

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And . . .

"Twelfth Night" (Koch Vision, $24.98); "Untraceable" (Sony, $28.95)

-- Noel Murray

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