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NEW ON DVD

'Slumdog Millionaire,' 'Danton,' 'Marley & Me,' 'Seven Pounds,' 'Timecrimes'

March 29, 2009|Noel Murray

Slumdog Millionaire

20th Century Fox, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99

Critics, audiences and Oscar voters were uplifted by best picture winner "Slumdog Millionaire," Danny Boyle's drama set in the slums of India. The film, structured as a series of flashbacks keyed to questions on the game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," earned Boyle and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy Academy Awards, and they did transform Vikas Swarup's novel "Q&A" into something lively and romantic. The DVD and Blu-ray editions of "Slumdog" come loaded with extras, including 30 minutes of evocative deleted scenes and two commentary tracks.

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Danton

Criterion, $39.95

Director Andrzej Wajda had just fled his native Poland when he made "Danton," an adaptation of Stanislawa Przybyszewska's play about old friends -- Maximilien Robespierre and Georges Danton -- who have a fatal falling out over the direction of the French Revolution. Gerard Depardieu plays Danton and Wojciech Pszoniak plays Robespierre, but the real star of the film is Wajda, who pours his anger over his homeland's woes into images of populism run amok. Criterion's DVD release includes a second disc with almost an hour of new interviews and footage from the set.

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Marley & Me

20th Century Fox, $29.98/$34.98; Blu-ray, $39.99

"Marley & Me" is riddled with cliches, but it has a good heart, a good cast and a cute dog. Based on John Grogan's memoir, "Marley & Me" stars Owen Wilson as a newspaper columnist and Jennifer Aniston as his wife; together they deal with a badly behaved mutt and all the usual pains of starting a family. Wilson and Aniston give the movie an enjoyably low-key vibe that pays off in the big emotional moments. The DVD and Blu-ray editions add how-to-make-a-movie-with-dogs info and deleted scenes.

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Seven Pounds

Sony, $28.96; Blu-ray, $39.95

Gabriele Muccino directs the Will Smith vehicle "Seven Pounds," about an IRS agent who assesses strangers' fitness for a purpose the movie doesn't reveal until it nears its conclusion. Muccino goes to great lengths to protect the not-hard-to-guess secret, which makes the film seem only more ridiculous. The "Seven Pounds" DVD and Blu-ray editions contain deleted scenes, more than an hour of behind-the-scenes featurettes and a commentary track by Muccino.

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All releases available Tuesday unless otherwise noted.

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