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NEW ON DVD

'Ice Age: Dawn of The Dinosaurs'; 'Battlestar Galactica: The Plan'; 'Orphan'; 'The Prisoner'; 'Whatever Works'

October 25, 2009|Noel Murray

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

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

At times, this third go-round for the prehistoric mammals of the "Ice Age" franchise feels like a sitcom nearing the end of its run. Some characters are settling down and starting families, others are feeling jealous and shut out . . . it's all a bit of a bummer for a kid flick. The movie improves, though, once the titular giant reptiles show up and the "Ice Age" crew discovers a lost world below the ice. The special edition DVD and Blu-ray come loaded with extras, including a commentary track, deleted scenes, interviews with the voice talent and bonus shorts featuring the slapstick character Scrat.

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Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

Universal, $26.98; Blu-ray, $39.98

Those who already miss "Battlestar Galactica" -- and are growing impatient waiting for the prequel series "Caprica" -- should be happy with this two-hour movie that retells the events of the show's first two seasons from the perspective of the human-hunting Cylons. Non-fans will find the movie -- written by Jane Espenson and directed by Edward James Olmos -- utterly baffling, but loyal viewers will want to pick up the DVD or Blu-ray, which runs a half-hour longer than the version that Syfy will televise in November, and adds deleted scenes, an Olmos/Espenson commentary and featurettes.

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Orphan

Warner, $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99

The eccentric horror film "Orphan" stars Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard as a stressed-out couple who adopt a Russian girl, only to see her immediately wreak havoc on her classmates and new family. For the first hour or so, "Orphan" is a fairly routine "creepy kid" movie, but then the story hits a twist that raises "Orphan" to a new level of camp craziness. Anyone who sticks with the movie to the end will want to check out the DVD and Blu-ray's special features, which include deleted scenes, an alternate ending and a behind-the-scenes documentary.

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The Prisoner

The Complete Series

A&E, $69.95; Blu-ray, $99.95

Long before "Lost," there was another cult TV show about a mysterious island. "The Prisoner," co-created by and starring Patrick McGoohan, ran for 17 episodes in 1967 and '68, telling the mind-bending story of a retired secret agent who gets kidnapped by his former bosses and sent to a remote community for the most complicated debriefing in the history of covert ops. Just in time for AMC's "Prisoner" remake, premiering in November, the original series arrives in a fully restored and remastered edition, with selected episode commentaries, alternate edits of two episodes, featurettes and a feature-length documentary about the show.

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Whatever Works

Sony, $27.96; Blu-ray, $39.95

Woody Allen dusts off a script he wrote in the '70s and casts Larry David as a misanthropic genius who falls for a homeless Southern beauty queen played by Evan Rachel Wood. There's definitely a warmed-over feel to the film, but David and Wood are surprisingly vibrant together, and for his first New York movie in years, Allen makes the city look warm and inviting -- a place where misfits can find what they need. This is a slight Allen effort, but a charming one. As is standard for Allen, the DVD and Blu-ray arrive devoid of special features.

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And...

Medicine for Melancholy

MPI, $19.98

Nothing Like the Holidays

Anchor Bay, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.98

You Weren't There:

A History of Chicago Punk 1977-84

Factory 25, $24.95

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All titles available Tuesday.

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