New DVD Releases: 'The Venture Bros.,' 'Date Movie,' 'Freedomland' And More

Supernatural TV fright fest 'Night Stalker' is also among the week's offerings.

Every week takes a look at the most promising DVD releases, from recent big-screen hits to Hollywood classics to television shows finally getting their due.

"The Venture Bros." Season One (2004)

For hilarious, cutting-edge animation, Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" block of programming is hard to beat. Beginning with such delightfully warped shows as "Space Ghost: Coast to Coast," "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" and "Sealab 2021," the number of must-see 'toons has grown to include "Tom Goes to the Mayor," "Robot Chicken" and "The Venture Bros." A twisted take on the classic '60s show "Jonny Quest," "The Venture Bros." isn't really about the titular teenage adventurers, Hank and Dean, but their father, former boy genius Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture, who's still living in his own father's shadow. In addition to continuing his father's legacy, Dr. Venture must — with the help of his personal bodyguard and unstoppable killing machine, Brock Samson (Patrick Warburton) — protect his sons from an endless stream of super-villains.

In addition to the all 13 episodes of the first season, Warner Bros. Home Video has included the following extras in this two-disc set:

  • Commentary by cast and crew on select episodes
  • "The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay" pilot episode
  • "A Very Venture Christmas" bonus episode
  • Deleted scenes
  • "Behind the Scenes of 'The Venture Bros.' " live-action movie
  • Deleted scenes

"Date Movie" Unrated Edition (2006)

There are so many thoroughly mockable traditions in the romantic comedy genre, it's shocking that no one staged full-on parody war against these flicks until "Scary Movie" co-writer and first time director Aaron Seltzer unleashed this year's "Date Movie." Starring Alyson Hannigan of "American Pie" and TV's "Buffy" fame, the film hits on some of the biggest hits in the genre, including "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," "Meet the Parents," "My Best Friend's Wedding" and many, many more. When not attacking specific films, "Date Movie" also unravels the common threads shared by so many of these flicks: Girl who gets a makeover to unleash her inner beauty? Check. Hilariously mismatched in-laws? Check. Charming guy with an even more charming accent? Check. Two women fighting over one man? Check. For every guy who has been unwillingly dragged to a chick flick, "Date Movie" serves as sweet comedic revenge.

Fox Home Entertainment has included the following extras:

  • Commentary by writer/director Jason Friedberg and writer Aaron Seltzer
  • Cast commentary
  • Anti-commentary by film critics Scott Foundas and Bob Strauss
  • "Memorable Dates" featurette
  • Extended/alternate scenes
  • Audition tapes
  • "Fox Movie Channel Presents: 'Making a Spoof' "
  • Diary entries
  • Peter Jackson's secret diary
  • Easter Egg: Peter Jackson as Harry Potter

"Freedomland" (2006)

"Freedomland" was marketed in much the same way as an earlier Julianne Moore film, 2004's "The Forgotten," leading the viewer to think this latest effort might be full of the same sort of supernatural events and creepy goings-on. "Freedomland," however, is about something more down-to-Earth than the earlier film's "aliens kidnapped my kid" premise. This time around, Moore stars as Brenda, a woman admitted to a hospital one night dripping with blood and claiming that her car has been stolen, with her 4-year-old son in the back seat. When Brenda then alleges that she was carjacked by a black guy living in the nearby projects, detective Lorenzo Council (Samuel L. Jackson) seals off the area in an attempt to find the child. What follows is a taut drama about racial tensions, accented by some weird happenings on the grounds of a former orphanage.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has not included any extras.

"Night Stalker: The Complete Series" (2005)

"The X-Files" was one of the few horror/sci-fi TV series to ever acknowledge its debt to the seminal show "Kolchak: The Night Stalker." ("Kolchak" star Darren McGavin even had a role in a suitably terrifying "X-Files" episode.) Once "The X-Files" ended, writer/producer Frank Spotnitz updated "The Night Stalker" for a new generation. Unfortunately, the show got lost in the shuffle of other smart, small-screen frighteners ("Supernatural," "Invasion," "Lost"). In this "re-imagining" of the classic series, brooding journalist Kolchak (Stuart Townsend) investigates reports of supernatural occurrences in the hopes of eventually finding the mysterious creature that killed his wife years prior.

In addition to all 10 episodes of the series, including four unaired episodes, Buena Vista Home Entertainment has included the following extras in this two-disc set:

  • Commentary by cast and crew on select episodes
  • "The Making of Night Stalker"
  • Deleted scenes
  • Scripts for unproduced episodes

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